Greetings! Welcome to the BSN Denver Power Rankings.
Throughout the course of the 2017 season, we will be providing you with Power Rankings for the Colorado Rockies roster at three positions; Starting Pitcher, Bullpen, and Position Player. The rankings will be released at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday respectively.
Each week, we will update the rankings based heavily on the performance from that time period. This is not meant to be a definitive list of who is the best, but rather a more volatile ranking of where everyone stands at any given moment in time.
Without further ado:
Bullpen Power Rankings:
15. Jairo Diaz (DL) – A major candidate to move up this list upon his return, we haven’t received much updated information on Diaz, still expecting him back near the end of April or beginning of May. Since nobody has seen him pitch in over a year, we will reserve intense judgment one way or the other until he gets back out on the field.
14. Sam Moll – Moll just hasn’t done quite enough to separate himself in a meaningful way. Coming into his age 25 season, he needs to find his role as a LOOGY or something more diverse either by really dominating lefties or improving the numbers overall. The presence of other higher rated lefties on this list, hurt Moll’s ranking.
13. Rayan Gonzalez – Gonzalez is 26-years-old and has yet to make his MLB debut, but the Rockies felt good enough about his talent and development to give him a 40-man roster spot. He’s given up one run and struck out three in two innings so far this spring. He posted a 2.31 ERA over 11.2 innings in the Arizona Fall League, striking out 9.26 batters per nine while walking just 1.54. He is a strong candidate to move up with good performance in spring training.
12. Jordan Lyles – Lyles had a really rough 2016, losing his starting job after a string of bad outings and seeming to find it for a moment after moving to the bullpen, only to lose it again. He has been the Rockies worst pitcher in spring, having given up six earned runs in three innings. He could still turn it around, but the Rockies can get out of the vast majority of his $3 million if they cut him, and time is running out.
11. Chad Qualls – Qualls was about as bad as a relief pitcher can be in 2016 and it’s unclear whether he has anything left at age 38. He has pitched two innings without giving up any runs this spring, but he has a long road to proving he still belongs on a team looking to contend.
10. Harrison Musgrave – Musgrave is in a tough spot because he is not on the 40-man roster, meaning plenty of other guys could get a look before he is even considered. But the big lefty has shown a high floor throughout his career and could be used in a multitude of ways. He has pitched well through six innings this spring and if it really comes down to making room for him, one needn’t look farther than the last couple of names on this list for candidates to cut to make room.
9. Jason Motte – There is still some hope among those who have seen him at his best that Motte regains the form he showed before arriving in Colorado. It just hasn’t happened yet through all of last season or so far this spring. The velo is down and he is giving up runs with regularity. His contract and resume could still get him on the 25-man roster unless he really implodes throughout the rest of the spring.
8. Scott Oberg – If deciding just based on results from spring and a bit from last season, at this exact moment in time, Scott Oberg would be our pick to fill out the last spot in the bullpen. He came on strong at the end of 2016 and if his health holds up looks to be a better option than others on the bubble.
7. Miguel Castro – At this point, nobody seems to know what to expect from the 22-year-old Castro. His first couple of spring outings he looked near untouchable, his third contained a four-run inning with three wild pitches. With still so much to refine, Castro could end up in Triple-A even if his talent and results suggest MLB. Someone behind him on the list will need to step up and take this spot, though.
6. Carlos Estevez – Estevez has a lot to prove but plenty of time to prove it. At this point, we’ve hashed out how nuanced a look his 2016 season requires but as we move into 2017, the big fireballer will need to show results to prove he belongs in an MLB pen. All the tools are there and we fully expect to see him on Opening Day, but he needs to have a few dominating innings this spring.
5. Jake McGee – McGee is coming off a career-worst season and as such, it is difficult to tell where to place him. The talent he has displayed in his career suggests he could easily move up this list, or even become a secondary closer, but until we start to see it, he will remain lower in the Power Rankings.
4. Mike Dunn – Dunn received the largest guaranteed contract the Rockies have ever given a reliever this offseason after posting a 3.40 ERA with the Marlins last season. He has been a big strikeout guy in his career and has looked very crisp this spring, striking out four batters without having allowed a baserunner so far in three innings.
3. Chris Rusin – Rusin was arguably the Rockies most valuable reliever in 2016. He pitched more innings than anyone else with a 3.74 ERA while performing especially well in clutch situations as evidenced by his 14.94 RE24 and 5.89 WPA. He is currently out with a minor injury but the Rockies will want to get him back quickly considering how many roles he can fill.
2. Greg Holland – This might seem a bit high for a guy who hasn’t even thrown in a full speed game in almost two years, but Holland’s resume is just that good. He could quickly fall down this list if he shows more rust than we expect, but until that happens or someone else emerges to take the spot, Holland has earned his ranking as one of the Rockies Top 2 relievers.
1. Adam Ottavino – Ottavino was getting back to looking like his pre-Tommy John self at the end of 2016 when he tossed 27 innings with a 2.61 ERA. Until Greg Holland proves to be healthy and effective, Ottavino is the Closer on this team. In three spring training innings, he has given up zero earned runs and struck out four.