SAN DIEGO — For the Colorado Rockies, the 40-man roster continues to be a work in progress as the franchise makes moves to hopefully improve its pitching heading into the 2020 campaign.
On Monday, the Colorado Rockies claimed right-handed reliever Tyler Kinley off waivers from the Miami Marlins. To make room on the roster, the Rockies designated right-handed reliever Joe Harvey for assignment.
Monday’s move follows a recent transaction (just before Thanksgiving) where the Rockies picked up free agent right-hander Jose Mujica while designating Wes Parsons for assignment. Mujica was a starter before Tommy John surgery cost him last season. Will he stay as a starter with Colorado? We had more on the Mujica move and what it could mean in this article.
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What do both transactions have in common? The Rockies designated a pair of pitchers who simply couldn’t prove their worth to the franchise last season in hopes of finding two pitchers who could. It’s that simple. It’s also a plan (at least with Kinley) that Bridich has been eyeing for some time.
"“We had interest in Tyler a few years ago in trying to trade for him,” general manager Jeff Bridich told me and other media members on Monday afternoon after finishing up a segment on MLB Network. “We’ve thought highly of him for a number of years.”"
The 28-year-old Kinley went 3-1 with a 3.65 ERA in 52 games for the Marlins last season as he bounced between Miami and Triple-A New Orleans. In Triple-A, Kinley posted a 1.72 ERA in 14 games while opponents hit .082 against him and he posted a 0.70 WHIP with seven walks in 15.2 innings. The walks went considerably up during his MLB stint with 36 in 49.1 innings, helping him to a 1.60 WHIP.
Career-wise, Kinley has a 5.22 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in 60.1 innings covering 65 Major League games.
Still, Bridich talked positively about Kinley’s power on Monday (a fastball in the mid-90s) and believed that the numbers don’t tell the whole story of what he could bring to the Rockies.
"“We believe in his pitch mix … there’s a power element,” Bridich said. “We believe that he’s got some good secondary pitches — a slider that can work well in our ballpark. We’ve been impressed with the kid. He’s been durable.”“I feel like there’s upside there. I felt like (this) was a good way to add a guy that could factor into our major league bullpen. Hopefully this year and for years to come.”"
Baseball rosters are a never-ending puzzle, even for a team that as budget-conscious as the Rockies currently are. However, the Rockies are hoping that these minor moves now can pay major dividends down the road.