Rockies Reduce Spring Roster by 7 Players -- 4 on MLB Roster, 3 Invites to ST
Spring training is on hold while America deals with the coronavirus outbreak.
But even with camps closed, and players at home working out on their own, there is business to be taken care of, and on Thursday the Rockies took a step to clear up their spring roster.
They optioned right-handed pitchers Ryan Castellani, José Mujica and Jesus Tinoco, as well as outfielder Yonathan Daza, all of whom are on the 40-man roster, to Triple-A Albuquerque.
They also assigned right-handed pitchers Alex Guillen and Ubaldo Jimenez, and catcher Elias Diaz to Triple-A Albuquerque, according to RockiesRoster.com. All three were spring training invites, who signed minor-league contracts in the off-season.
Once spring training resumes it will be a shortened version, which put a premium on available innings for pitchers who are set on the season-opening roster or in contention for one of the open roster spots.
Jimenez, once the ace of the Rockies rotation who set a franchise record with 19 wins and the only no-hitter in franchise history in 2010, is attempting a comeback at the age of 36 after not pitching the last two years, except for a two-month tuneup in the Dominican Winter League the past off-season. He showed potential in the early days of spring training, but as manager Bud Black said before spring training was put on hold, "he needs to face batters and pitching innings."
He ranks second on the Rockies all-time list with 773 strikeouts, third with a 3.66 ERA among pitchers with a minimum of 400 innings, and fifth with 56 wins, 137 starts and 851 innings pitched. He also started for the NL in the 2010 All-Star Game, the only Rockies pitcher to draw the assignment.
Jimenez' third-place finish in the NL Cy Young voting in 2010 is the highest finish for a Rockies pitcher. Kyle Freeland finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting in 2018, ranking just behind Jimenez.
Guillen is coming off a strong showing in 2019 when he was 2-2 with a save and 1.53 ERA in 37 relief appearances at Double-A Hartford, and followed that up by allowing one run in 10 innings while walking one and striking out 13 for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League.