Despite ending the night with a 5-1 loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies rookie pitcher Blair Calvo had quite an impressive major league debut last night.
Calvo, 27, only needed 11 pitches in the bottom of the eigth inning last night as he shut down three straight Diamondbacks batters.
His pitching arsenal includes a fastball that reaches 94 MPH, a slider that can go from 85-90 MPH, a splitter that will touch 86-89 MPH and a sinker that can reach 93 MPH. Last night, it was his slider and sinker that he relied on to get through the Diamondbacks lineup.
Calvo utilized his slider as his primary pitch as he used it at least 54.5% with a spin rate of 2796. Followed by that, his sinker was his secondary pitch as he used it 45.5%.
In his first matchup, he faced Lourdes Gurriel Jr., whom he made ground out up the middle with a sinker pitch. Then, he went up against Christian Walker, who hit a line drive to third baseman Ryan McMahon from another sinker pitch. Finally, he ended his night by getting Evan Longoria, a three-time all-star, to ground out to second base with a 94 mph sinker in a 2-1 count.
Before the game yesterday, Calvo was recalled to the major league roster in exchange for right-handed pitcher Karl Kauffmann.
Calvo is a right-handed pitcher who stands at 6'3", 195 pounds from Jacksonville Florida, and was a 23rd-round pick by the Rockies in 2019.
In AAA Albuquerque this season, Calvo has pitched in a total of 18 innings and gave up a total of 23 hits. It is worth noting that he has only given up three home runs this year as that is an area the Rockies have struggled with in 2023. The team has given up the fifth most home runs this year with 74.
While giving up home runs is not ideal for any team, the Rockies have had one of the better bullpens in baseball and will rely heavily on Calvo to help contribute to it moving forward. The Rockies starting rotation has been an issue all season long as the team has not pitched well and has dealt with injuries all season long, most notably when ace pitcher German Marquez suffered an elbow injury that resulted in him needing Tommy John surgery.