In 2020, Yency Almonte was the Colorado Rockies most reliable reliever but in 2021, he has been far from that. In fact, he has been their worst reliever.
Even after a scoreless outing on Friday, Almonte’s ERA is a staggering 13.22.
The entire bullpen struggled to start the season as their 5.84 ERA was the worst in the NL and second-worst in baseball.
From May 17 through June 3, the Rockies bullpen ERA was 4.50, which was 20th in baseball.
However, if you exclude Yency Almonte’s last two outings where he allowed runs (on May 22 and June 3, when he combined to allow seven earned runs on just one inning pitched), that bullpen ERA would be 3.00 in that span, which would be 9th best in baseball.
On Friday, we asked Bud Black what he thought Almonte’s main issue (or issues) were this season.
The Rockies manager said that there has been one main thing: command.
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"“He (hasn’t had) command (of) the ball, for sure,” said Black before Friday’s game. “He’s gotta get the ball in the strikezone. That’s something we’ve talked about a number of times. We’ve done a few things with his delivery, some coaching stuff, some philosophical stuff … We’ll just try to keep getting him better.“He’s healthy, his arm feels good, his stuff looks fine, (but) he’s not making (good) pitches. Bottom line: He’s gotta get the ball over the plate. The walks are way too high. There’s (nearly) a walk per inning. Hits are too high –that’s bad location– but there’s enough time left in the season for him to turn this around.”"
Black still said that in his outing on Thursday (where he allowed three runs in an inning of work), he liked the stuff that he had. That included his fastball velocity (which was slightly up) and the break on the breaking pitches. But command, again, was the issue, as he walked two batters.
On Friday, Almonte had his 20th appearance of the year and it was only his fourth appearance on the season in which he threw an inning or more and he did not allow a hit or a walk. But, as you can see here, his pitch location was still not great.
On Saturday, Black said that he thought Almonte’s stuff (velocity and break on pitches) on Friday was good as well.
Since Almonte is out of minor league options, he will likely be given ample opprtunity to prove himself this year but the Rockies do need to see results soon. Perhaps, he can build off the results he had on Friday when he pitches next.