Dodgers sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Rockies counter with Ty Blach

The Rockies have been quiet so far this offseason. On Thursday, they added some pitching depth and brought back Denver native, Ty Blach.
Oakland Athletics v Colorado Rockies
Oakland Athletics v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

The Dodgers just keep spending money and getting better. Thursday night they reportedly signed Yoshinobu Yamamoto to a 12-year deal worth $325 million. The NL West is pulling away as the best division in baseball and the Dodgers are making sure they remain atop that division. They have signed free agents Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, as well as extended recently acquired star Tyler Glasnow.

All told, the Dodgers have spent over a billion dollars combined this offseason. It’s disheartening as a Rockies fan knowing they will have to match up against this squad for the next 10+ years, putting even more importance on the Rockies nailing this rebuild.

The Rockies have a serious pitching issue, and they were never going to be in on Ohtani or Yamamoto, but they needed to add some pitching depth. They have already missed out on a few solid back of the rotation options, but they did add Denver native Ty Blach to his third consecutive minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.
Blach was outrighted to Albuquerque in October and elected free agency a few days later.
MLBTradeRumors stated that Blach had an opportunity to go pitch in Korea, but opted to stay in his hometown of Denver.

Blach was a sort of do it all pitcher for Bud Black in 2023, starting 13 games and coming out of the bullpen for another seven. He threw 78 innings, almost double his 2022 total of 44, to the tune of a 5.54 ERA. He doesn’t strike out a lot of batters (5.8 K/9), but doesn’t walk many either, at just 2.8 BB/9. He was hit very hard last season, with a 12.7 H/9 and a 1.7 HR/9. Blach isn’t going to carry the pitching staff, and they can certainly add more, but Blach seems to be a Bud Black favorite and could be useful as a depth option.

The biggest difference between Blach’s 2022 and 2023 was the value he got from his sinker. In 2023, his sinker was down almost 2.0 mph, contributing to an average exit velocity that was 2.0 mph higher than the 2022 version. The slugging percentage against his sinker was up almost 130 points, while his whiff rate dropped from 18.2% to 10.2%. In 2024, if Blach can get the same value that he got out of the 2022 sinker, we could see a potential swingman. We could see a guy capable of throwing 50-75 innings and making 6-8 starts. As long as he's a dependable arm for Bud Black and the Rockies bullpen, that would be enough.