Colorado Rockies sign reliever with Major League experience
By Kevin Henry
On Tuesday, the Colorado Rockies inked a pitcher with not only Major League experience but also previous experience in the National League West.
According to a tweet from Chris Cotillo (who joined us on an exclusive podcast to talk about the Rockies offseason that you can listen to by clicking here), Colorado signed left-handed reliever Keith Hessler on Tuesday. The 28-year-old Hessler posted an 0-1 mark with an 8.22 ERA in 20 games with the Arizona Diamondbacks during portions of the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
In May of 2016, Hessler was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres. His time with the Padres was better statistically, posting a 1-0 record and 3.38 ERA in 15 games. However, he struck out nine while walking 11 in 18.2 innings of work, also surrendering 19 hits during that time.
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Hessler was designated for assignment by the Padres in April of 2017 and saw action at Triple-A El Paso before being released in August of that year.
The southpaw certainly looks to be a project for the Rockies. With a career ERA of 5.56 and a career WHIP of 1.676, there is plenty of work for Hessler to do in order to make it back to the big leagues.
It is likely that Hessler will find himself in Triple-A Albuquerque. If that occurs, he will be under the tutelage of Brandon Emanuel, who joins the Isotopes as the pitching coach after previously serving as the pitching coach for High-A Lancaster from 2014-17. Emanuel’s move was one of many announced by the Rockies on Tuesday afternoon when Colorado’s minor league staffs were revealed.
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Colorado’s bullpen is expected to once again be strong in 2018, thanks in part to the offseason signings of closer Wade Davis from the Chicago Cubs and setup man Bryan Shaw from the Cleveland Indians. Additionally, Adam Ottavino, Mike Dunn, Jake McGee and Chris Rusin return to anchor a bullpen that will be a key to a potential consecutive postseason appearance for the Rockies.