According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com and the Colorado Rockies transaction log, the Rockies have signed former San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ty Blach, former Milwaukee Brewers, and Seattle Mariners utilityman Tim Lopes, and former New York Yankees farmhand Kyle Holder to minor league deals.
During the MLB lockout, no MLB team can sign a free agent to a major league deal and no trades can be made. However, since players that weren’t on a 40-man roster at the end of the 2021 season are not impacted by the lockout, teams can agree to sign minor league players and former MLB players to minor league deals during the lockout. That’s what the Rockies did with all three signings as they add to their upper minor league depth.
Former San Francisco Giants pitcher Ty Blach is a Denver native who will give the Colorado Rockies some pitching depth.
Former San Francisco Giants pitcher Ty Blach is, perhaps, the most intriguing signing by the Colorado Rockies. Blach, 31, is a native of Denver and he graduated from Regis Jesuit High School in the Denver suburb of Aurora. He last pitched in the majors in 2019 as he split the season between the San Francisco Giants and the Baltimore Orioles. In his four seasons in the majors, Blach was both a starting pitcher and a reliever for the Giants.
In 2017 and 2018, he combined to pitch in 81 games (37 starts) with 282 1/3 innings pitched. He had an ERA of 4.56 (4.18 FIP) with an ERA+ of 89. Considering that he is familiar with altitude and his high groundball rate in the seasons he pitched the most (46.7 percent in 2017 and 54 percent in 2018), Blach will look to, essentially, be what Chi Chi González was in the last few seasons for the Rockies: a pitcher that could either be a long reliever or a spot starter.
Tim Lopes, 27, is from Los Angeles and he has spent parts of three seasons in the majors with the Seattle Mariners and, in 2021, the Milwaukee Brewers. He has only played in 94 MLB games but between the majors and minors, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, left field, center field, and right field in at least a dozen games each.
Lopes has not shown much with his bat in the majors (84 OPS+) but with his versatility and speed, he is very similar to Rockies utilityman Garrett Hampson.
Holder, 27, has spent the last seven seasons in the minor leagues for the New York Yankees. He made it as high as Triple-A for the Yankees, which is where he played in 2021. He hit .216/.295/.276 in 78 games there. He showed better offensive numbers prior to the pandemic in Double-A and lower levels so the Rockies are hoping to find some minor league depth with him. He can play second, short, and third (and he has one game played in left). He is from San Diego and went to the University of San Diego.
As you may remember, Rockies manager Bud Black has ties to San Diego as he went to San Diego State and he was the Padres manager. Last season, the Rockies signed Connor Joe (who went to the University of San Diego) and minor leaguer Wynton Bernard, who is from San Diego and went to college in nearby Riverside. Joe obviously worked well in the majors for the Rockies so they are hoping that they can get something out of Holder as well.