More News and Notes from Ex-Rockies
Matt Daley: Matt was one of my favourite Rockies in his short time with the club from 2009 to 2011. Hey he graduated from Bucknell with a degree in Accounting, who doesn’t like that story. I thought Matt was out baseball, after he tore his rotator cuff at the end of 2011 (as someone who has had a torn rotator cuff on both shoulder, I cannot imagine even coming back from that to be an accountant again). But no he has been pitching in the minors within the Yankees farm system. He appeared in 7 games in 2013 without giving up a run and was kept by the Yankees in 2014. Sadly, in his one appearance this year: 1.1, 5 hits, 6R, 4ER, 2BB and 1 home run. He was Designated for assignment after that one appearance. Matt is back in AAA, in 6 games he has 4.82 ERA and a WHIP of 1.29. It will be interesting considering how poorly their pen has performed aside from their new closer to see if Matt gets another shot, now that he is off the 40 man roster. Always liked Matt, hope he gets another chance.
Collin Kolfax McHugh: Okay, really, where was this guy last year when he was called up to pitch for the Rockies. He was a batting practice machine in his two previous years in the major leagues but someone has taught him to take advantage of changing speeds. The first start against the Mariners you can believe because he was pitching against a poor offensive team in a rut. The 12Ks were hard to believe for a pitcher not throwing 95+, but still. But then he followed it up by going against the As and throwing 8.2 of 2 hit ball with 7 more Ks. He did have 3 walks this time (not surprising given how walk conscience the As are), but still. I loved how after scoring 1 run against him the As hitters were saying how he was no good. Really guys, you just got owned by a man who was 0-8 entering with an ERA over 9. Anyways, keep it up Collin. I guess that the Rockies might end up regretting giving up on his and taking him off the 40 but…really, who guessed this would happen.
Update: Great post from ESPN on McHugh. Seems he is pitching backwards, curve and slider to fastball vs the other way around as he did when with the Rox. Learning is big and important if you want to be a big leaguer
Josh Outman: Come on, still the best last name for any pitcher ever. Those who don’t know, he had an unusual delivery that his dad taught him, but because it was so unconventional he had to learn to pitch differently to make it to the big leagues. There are supposedly a few teams that wouldn’t mind him going back to his delivery but most teams don’t trust the stress it is supposed to put on him. I tried to find the video that used to be out there showing his weird delivery but couldn’t find it this time. Anyways, Josh did a fair job for the Rox but the chance to get Drew Stubbs was worth trading the lefty. So far this year, not too darn bad. He is 3-0, with a 2.16 ERA in 12 games. He has only thrown 8.1 innings for those 12 games, showing that he is slowly becoming a one-out, lefty only pitcher. Lefties only have a .597 OPS. Righties…1.014. His WHIP is not very good, 1.920, which is an indication of what happens when Josh faces righties. But teams in the AL, with the DH, can afford to keep a one-out lefty guy to get the Ortiz’s of the world. Go Josh!
Drew Pomeranz: Is there any player around whom there is more disappointment that Drew Pomeranz in Rockies history? Maybe Greg Reynolds because of his high draft place and the guys who could have been chosen instead. Maybe Ian Stewart because he went from potential batting champ to the guy who couldn’t find the strike zone. But forever Drew is the guy that we traded Ubaldo for, and after that first year in the minors with the waiting time and the appendectomy, and the desire to see him become the guy who would save the rotation. He did go 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA at the end of the season and the future looked bright. But 2012 ruined him (as did a lot of folks because of hot dry summer of Coors), when he went 2-9 with a 4.93 ERA. In 2013 he got 8 appearances at the end of the season as a reliever primarily and showed some potential…but never Ubaldo potential. So he was dealt for Brett Anderson this off-season, and in 8 games this year he has been an reliever with some good work. He has tossed 11.1 innings and has allowed only 8 hits but 5 walks along with 9 Ks. That works out to a WHIP of 1.147 and an ERA of 1.59, with a 1-1 record (the loss came in a walk-off to some guy named Chris Ianetta). Looks like Drew has a nice career ahead of himself, as a reliever, but for such a high draft pick and as a guy traded twice for opening day starters, it seems like a lot less than he himself would have wanted.
Jason Hammel: Jason, the 6’6” giant, has had a good career for a 10th round pick (by Tampa). He won 10 games twice for the Rox in 09-10, and 8 and 7 games for Baltimore the past two years, one year with a great ERA (3.43 in 2012) and then not so great last year (4.97). He signed a $6 million contract with the Cubs this off-season and pitching for one of the really bad clubs in the NL he has had 5 really good starts, throwing into the 7th each game so far, and only giving up 1,3,3,1,0 ER over those 5 starts. He has been a real horse, throwing between 96 and 109 pitches. If he can stay healthy and keep this up, expect the Cubs to spin him to a contender by mid-June or early July. Staying healthy has always been hard for Jason, but along with Jeff Samardzija he has provided the Cubs a good 1-2, even as Edwin Jackson who they gave a long contract to last year, has faltered. Jason is at best a #3 on a contending team, but it will be interesting to see if the Cubs do trade him and what they get for him and…if the Rockies might have interest.
Jeremy Guthrie: Okay, I am putting Guthrie on here only because he is symbolic of that 2012 year of the death of the pitcher. He was dealt to KC for Jonathan Sanchez…lost pitcher for lost pitcher. But Guthrie turned a good last half of 2012 into a 3 year deal with a team option for 2016. He went 15-12 last year for the Royals, though with a 4.04 ERA. This year he is 2-1 in 5 starts with a 4.22 ERA. He is being paid for like a 3.50 ERA pitcher, so I think the word under-perform is about right. But he has been doing what a lot of teams are willing to pay for – eating innings. In 5 starts he has given them 32 innings and he has been a little hard-luck, going 7ip, 6H, 2R and losing to Baltimore last time out. All told, I would prefer to not remember Guthrie at all.
Clint Barmes: Is your favourite Clint memory that walk-off his rookie season? Or breaking his shoulder carrying meat up his steps. I loved Clint – a big power bat and great glove, but never much for average. That finally cost him last year the starting spot for the Pirates as Jody Mercer took the job, but Clint Hurdle loves having him on the roster. He has only appeared in 10 games and is hitting just .154 (.368OPS), and you have to think that it might be getting close to the end for Clint. He is mired in an 0-10 right now. Clint’s glove is still stellar, and to be honest, Jordy Mercer is only hitting .167 himself. The Pirates are struggling and they may have to make a move soon. Still hoping Clint has more in him.
Ty Wiggington: Had a request for a Ty update, and Ty still has the all-time best home plate collision in my opinion (and I am Pete Rose fan). Ty had a great career but was unable to hook on with Marlins at the end of spring training, he didn’t have a good spring or a good end of the last year with the Cardinals. Ty hasn’t announced his retirement and is supposedly still working out in case someone is looking for a corner bat. But if it is a career, not too bad for a 17th round pick – 1170 hits and 169 homers.
Johnny Herrera: Perhaps the all-time favourite club-house guy in Rockies history. Evidently back in Venezeala he was CarGo and CarGo was Johnny. Not here though. The solid glove and occasionally hot bat was dealt this off season for both Chris Martin and Franklin Morales. How badly did the Red Sox want Johnny? So far not so good in Boston. In 16 games and 39 ABs, he is hitting just .182 and an OPS of .471. He is still the slick-fielding player the Rox were able to plug-in when Tulo got hurt or one of the other guys needed a day-off, but even if all the team gets from Franklin and Chris is what they have gotten so far, I think this is a win for the Rockies in the trade.
Jeff Baker: Baker was always one of those guys who the Rockies couldn’t figure out what to do with when he was here. He had a good glove, and some thunder in his bat. He had a bad wrist injury at one point, but even with that, he hit 12 homers in 2008 in just 300 ABs. Jeff has bounced around the last few years, and still hasn’t had more than 200 ABs since leaving Cubs who grabbed him after the Rockies traded him for Al Alburquerque (who is still pitching for the Tigers as a late-inning arm). We saw Jeff at the beginning of the season playing for the Marlins, but his season isn’t off to a good start. In 16 games and 40 ABs he has just 4 hits. Seen as a good late-inning pitch-hit bat, he is without a homer and only 3 RBIs. He did get the start last night against Atlanta and went 1-3 and scored a run. Hope things turn around soon for Jeff who at 32 might be getting close to the end already.
Seth Smith: Mr. Late Night, one of the best pitch hitters I have ever seen, especially for such a young guy. He was of course the back-up QB to some guy named Manning at Ole Miss, and 2nd round pick by the Rox in 2004. He was a starter here against righties for several years but his lack of speed really hurt the team in the giant right-field, which is why he was dealt to the As in 2012 for Josh Outman and Guillermo Moscoso. So basically, he was traded for Drew Stubbs. The Padres traded away a good arm in Luke Gregerson to get Smith, and the Padres have been rolling him out there most days. In 22 games he has 80 PA, and is hitting .273/.804OPS. He has 2 homers but just 7 RBIs. Seth is still a deadly bat, and glad he is getting the chance to start rather than just sit around for that one last shot at the end of the game.
Felipe Paulino: Felipe had a power arm when he came to the Rox in the deal that sent Clint Barmes to the Astros in 2010. But sadly he had serious shoulder surgery and missed all of 2013 (the injury was in early 2012). Felipe bounced between the starter and pen role, giving the Royals 20 starts in 2011 and a good 4.11 ERA. This year he started off with the White Sox, starting and even loosing here in Colorado. He is currently hurt again with a rotator cuff inflammation, which explains why after being a surprise in spring training and breaking camp as part of the starting 5 for the White Sox he has had some bad outings. After giving up 10ER in just 3.2 (and 103 pitches…what was Ventura thinking) he ended up on the DL. Heard that Felipe is a nice guy so hope that shoulder gets right and he can help out the White Sox this year.
Jeremy Affeldt: One of my favourite guys from the 2007 season, a 3rdround pick in 1997, the Royals never could decide if he was a starter or reliever. He came to the Rox as part of the Ryan Shealy deal in 2006 and found a home in the pen. The 2007 season he was clutch, going 4-3, 3.51 with a 1.356 WHIP. That team doesn’t win the NL pennant without Jeremy. But they lost him in the off-season as a FA to the Reds and then onto the Giants where he has been a key part of both the 2010 and 2012 World Series championships. He was hurt to start the season but now has gone 6 games in and a WHIP of .545. A great lefty and he is still not at age 34 a one-inning or one-lefty guy, going 7.1 in those 6 outings. He is a $6 million reliever – that tells you a lot about how valuable he is still viewed. If he played for anyone but an NL West team I would still be a huge fan – a great human being and a great lefty reliever.
Everth Cabrerra: For those of us enjoying the success of Tommy Kahnle, the Rule 5 steal from the Yankees, Everth is one that got away from us. Everth is only 27 but already with 4 years of major league experience. The Rox brought him over to the States in 2006 at age 19 and to be honest, he was never anything special. He had one good year, in 2009, when he hit .360 over two levels of minors, and he did steal 73 (16 CS) in 2008, but when the Pads grabbed him in 2009, it had to be a shock to the Rox. Since then he has played good defense for the Padres and led the league with 44 steals in 2012. Last year was his best year average wise, with .283/.736 while stealing 37(12CS). This year he is off to his best start yet, hitting .295 (.703OPS) and playing multiple positions for a Padres team that has fought a lot of infield injuries. Everth probably was never going to make it with the Rox, since they already had Johnny Herrera (and now the likes of DJ, Rutt, and Culberson), so he has taken advantage of the chance the Pads gave him and has had a good career.
Chris Iannetta: With Tyler Chatwood going on the DL, possibly it sounds like with an ulnar ligament tear (he has already had TJ once), it is a good time to revisit the trade that brought Tyler here. In 2012, looking to build a rotation that was so bad they traded Ubaldo the year before, Chris Ianetta was dealt for Chatwood, who at 21 had done a decent job in his rookie season. This was the year they knew that Rosario was ready to see big time behind the plate (sadly this was also the year Rosario forgot how to block the plate). Chris is playing for one of the best managers around one of the best catchers of the 1980s in Mike Socia. Chris was never a high average guy but a big power guy and a great game caller. He hit .240/.730 in 2012 and .225/.731 the past two years. Now sharing the catching duties again, he has caught 18 games and is hitting .233/.798 but calling great games and is getting a lot of positive feedback for the improvement in the Angels pitching fortunes. He played a big part in last night’s win for the Angels with a 2-5 night and 2 RBI. Chris is still only 31 but has already caught 670 games and looks to be the starter in LAA for at least til 2016.
Ian Stewart: Mentioned Ian in the last post, but he continues to have a nice bounce-back from baseball purgatory. He is still only hitting .224/.752, but is giving the Angels excellent defense and is one of the few hitters who has been willing, twice this year, when the bunted twice into the big shifts being put on for lefty hitters these days. Want to see Ian find the stroke that could make him a decent average hitter, but it is nice to see him back in the majors and hitting at all.
Think that is all the names people asked about.