Scottsdale, Arizona — On Tuesday afternoon, Jesus Tinoco entered the game in a relief appearance of Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis. That is something that Tinoco will likely be doing with regularity for the Rockies and their affiliates moving forward.
Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black said in his morning press briefing on Wednesday that Jesus Tinoco is transitioning into a relief role. The 23-year-old Tinoco has started 120 of the 131 games during his minor league career, including all 26 games for Double-A Hartford last season. However, it sounds like that will change in 2019 and beyond.
"“I think there’s a little bit of upside on his stuff and the resiliency of the arm to get into that bullpen and maybe get to the big leagues a little sooner,” Black said."
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As a note, Tinoco came out of the bullpen in the 2018 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, throwing an inning of scoreless relief for the World Futures team in the 10-6 loss to the American squad.
On Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers, Tinoco entered in the top of the third and retired Travis Shaw on a groundout to end the inning with runners on first and third. His velocity touched 96 mph, a good sign in Black’s eyes.
"“It was good to see him come in and throw six straight heaters with some velocity and four of them went for strikes. I like that,” Black said. “He is transitioning to a relief role so that will be new for him. We think that’s where his future lies.”"
Tinoco came to the Rockies as one of the pieces in the trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays in July of 2015. After posting a 1.80 ERA for Class A Asheville in the games following the trade, the right-hander’s ERA has never finished below 4.67 in a season.
He did post a career-high in strikeouts last season with 132 while surrendering 149 hits in 141 innings pitched.