Colorado Rockies add bullpen depth with Brett Oberholtzer

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 16: Brett Oberholtzer
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 16: Brett Oberholtzer /

The Colorado Rockies commitment to improving the bullpen continues with the signing of Brett Oberholtzer. The 28-year old lefty started the season with the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League. He was set to be the starter for the club until the Rockies purchased his contract on April 24.

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Oberholtzer has pitched as a starter in four years with the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Angels. He has not not played in the majors since 2016 and most recently signed a minor-league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Last year In Triple-A, he did show promise pitching 24 starts with a 4.12 ERA. While he doesn’t project to be in the starting rotation, a conversion to the bullpen may help Oberholtzer get back to the majors. The Rockies have three southpaws in their bullpen and with Chris Rusin on the disabled list, it never hurts to have more depth.

In one appearance for the Albuquerque Isotopes, Oberholtzer started the game and went four innings. He gave six hits, three earned runs with one walk and one strikeout.

In the first month of the season, the pitching has been a source of strength for the club. Especially Chad Bettis and the bullpen. Oberholtzer’s best shot to make the major league club is to show more consistency as a starter in the minors. That experience can translate to being a long reliever.

He showed promise eating innings with his fastball and changeup but he needs develop his off-speed  pitches to make it back to the big leagues. At a mile-high, inning eaters are a rare commodity so he would be welcome. He has two above average pitches, another reason he would make him a better fit for the bullpen. If Oberholtzer is to be called back up, look for it to be when rosters expand in September or if a long reliever goes down for an extended amount of time.

Next: Colorado Rockies: Recapping an ugly series in Miami