After clearing waivers and being assigned outright to Triple-A Albuquerque on October 21, relief pitcher Yency Almonte announced on Twitter on Friday that he has chosen free agency rather than remaining in the Colorado Rockies organization.
Yency Almonte’s 2021 season was part of the problem for the Colorado Rockies bullpen
Following a breakout 2020 season where he posted a 178 ERA+ and and lowered his WHIP to 1.120, the 27-year-old right-hander came crashing back to earth in 2021. While appearing in 48 games, Almonte’s ERA skyrocketed to 7.55 and his WHIP climbed to 1.594, the highest of his career.
That 7.55 ERA was the second-highest among all relievers (minimum 40 innings pitched) and the third-highest in Colorado Rockies franchise history (minimum 45 appearances) behind Wade Davis (8.65 ERA in 2019) and Mike DeJean (8.41 ERA in 1999).
He was scored upon in 18 of 48 total outings, allowing multiple runs in 13 outings and three or more runs seven times. With those struggles, Almonte found his time in the mound decreasing as the season went along. He made just six appearances from September 8 through the end of the campaign, tossing five scoreless innings total with four hits allowed while walking two and striking out seven.
Almonte’s struggles were symbolic of a Colorado bullpen that had plenty of issues in 2021. The Rockies bullpen allowed 39 percent of its inherited runners to score this season, which ranked as the second-highest in the National League behind Philadelphia (41.8%) and the fourth-highest in Major League Baseball overall. Additionally, the bullpen’s 4.89 ERA was the fifth-highest in MLB.
Almonte was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 17th round of the 2012 MLB draft and was traded to the Chicago White Sox organization before the 2015 season. Later that year, the White Sox sent Almonte to Colorado in exchange for Tommy Kahnle.
Almonte was one of four Rockies who cleared waivers and were assigned to Triple-A in a move to open up spots on the 40-man roster, joining infielders Joshua Fuentes and Rio Ruiz as well as right-hander Tommy Doyle.