Colorado Rockies Shake Up Bullpen with Roster Moves
By Kevin Henry
Prior to the Colorado Rockies opening a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night at Coors Field, the Rockies made some roster moves that will greatly alter the bullpen.
“The dynamic of the roster evolve during the season, probably in the bullpen more so than any other aspect of the club,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said prior to Friday’s game. “It’s ever-changing out there in the bullpen, depending on needs and how you’re set up. We had four lefties in the bullpen so we’re looking for some more right-handed balance due to (Miguel) Castro being out. That was a big part of it.”
Castro, one of the most solid pitchers out of the bullpen in the early part of the 2016 season, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Castro has primarily been used as a setup man for the Rockies this season and has found success in the role, allowing just one run and two hits in six innings.
Castro’s stint on the disabled list makes room on the roster for starting pitcher Jon Gray, who will come off the disabled list to pitch the series opener against the Dodgers on Friday night.
Weiss said Chad Qualls may take Castro’s spot as the “eighth-inning guy” and Justin Miller and Boone Logan may also see action in the spot as well.
“We’re talking about spreading the innings out and keeping guys fresh,” Weiss said. “It’s more based on need right now with Castro going down and the long guys in our bullpen. I try to spread the innings around but it really depends on the types of games you’re playing. If you’re in a lot of close games, the guys that I use in winning games are going to pitch a lot. Sometimes you may lose a battle to win a war and that’s how I look at the bullpen sometimes.”
David Hale, with a 13.50 ERA in two games this season, was designated for assignment. Hale was injured in spring training which caused him to be “behind the eight ball” once the season began, according to Weiss.
Hale was 5-5 last season for the Rockies with a 6.09 ERA.
“We got a pretty good look at him last year. He’s that guy who’s a starter or may be a long guy in the bullpen,” Weiss said. “He’s done both at the Major League level. The way we’re set up right now with long men in the bullpen, we didn’t need three in there so that put him in a tough spot.”
Also taken off the Colorado roster for left-hander Jason Gurka, who shined in spring training but has struggled mightily during the season. Gurka heads to Triple-A Albuquerque with a 9.31 ERA in six games.
Taking the place of Hale and Gurka on the roster are right-handers Gonzalez Germen and Carlos Estevez.
Germen was a surprise for the Colorado Rockies last season, logging a 3.86 ERA in 29 games, including one start. While his ERA was decent, Germen allowed 33 hits in 32.2 innings and walked (21) almost as many as he struck out (25).
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Estevez was 1-0 this season for Triple-A Albuquerque with a 3.18 ERA in 5.2 innings pitched. Weiss said he was looking forward to seeing Estevez and his power pitching make his Major League debut.
“Your depth is always going to get tested, especially in the bullpen,” Weiss said. “He’s a big power arm and I’m looking forward to getting a look at him.”