Colorado Rockies sign former Miami Marlins Opening Day starter

According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, the Colorado Rockies have signed former Miami Marlins, Detroit Tigers, and Milwaukee Brewers pitcher José Ureña.

Ureña, 30, was designated for assignment by the Brewers 11 days ago when rosters were trimmed from 28 to 26 players and when the Brewers activated infielder Luis Urías off of the injured list.

The Rockies have been lacking in the depth department for their pitching staff so, perhaps, Ureña will help deepen it.

The Colorado Rockies have signed José Ureña to a minor-league deal

José Ureña will report to the Arizona complex for the Colorado Rockies before he is sent to the minor leagues (likely Triple-A Albuquerque).

Ureña appeared in four games (all in relief) for the Brewers in 2022 with an ERA of 3.52. In 7 2/3 innings, he allowed seven hits, five runs (three earned), walked five, and struck out three. Due to the high walk rate, his FIP was 5.99, which is part of the reason why the Brewers let him go.

For Detroit in 2021, he had a 5.81 ERA in 26 games (18 starts). He had a 5.02 FIP and  a 1.599 WHIP.

He spent the previous six seasons in the majors with the Miami Marlins and was even their Opening Day starter in 2018 and 2019. His best season, though, arguably came in 2017 when he went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA in 34 games (28 starts) with a 104 ERA+. However, his FIP was 5.20, suggesting that he had a lot of good luck.

In 2018, he went 9-12 with a 3.98 ERA in 31 starts with a 96 ERA+, a 4.17 FIP, a 1.184 WHIP.

What may make him intriguing for the Colorado Rockies is that he has the makeup of a pitcher that could succeed at Coors Field. The two keys have been groundball rate and low fastball spin rate.

In his 181 innings as a starter from 2019 through 2021, Ureña had a groundball rate of 51.1 percent, or 15th highest among pitchers with at least 150 innings as a starter in that span.

For comparison, Antonio Senzatela is 12th at 52.1 percent and Germán Márquez is 17th at 50.4 percent.

He also has a low spin rate on his four-seam fastball. His spin rate was 2106 RPM in 2021, which was 39th lowest among pitchers to face at least 250 batters. Márquez and Senzatela were 32nd and 36th in 2021 and new additions Alex Colomé and Chad Kuhl were 38th and 42nd.