HM. Jairo Diaz (DL) – The way most of the guys on the bubble for the bullpen have been pitching, Diaz can’t get back soon enough to add some high-end potential.

15. Sam Moll – Moll was pitching well but sent back to minor league camp in the most recent round of cuts. The Rockies appear to simply need to see more from him, especially against lefties.

14. Jordan Lyles – In 5.2 innings this spring, Jordan Lyles has given up six earned runs. He could find it again, but almost certainly needs to be sent to Triple-A in order to find his confidence.

13. Chad Qualls – It’s hard to tell that Qualls has even been in camp. He has thrown just two innings and while veterans tend to get less run than rookies, it’s hard to build any kind of positive feelings on a guy who we haven’t seen since he was so bad a year ago. Qualls absolutely has the resume to rebound, but who knows if that will ever happen?

12. Jason Motte – At this point, all Jason Motte has over the guys behind him on this list is that he appears to be fully healthy and has experience. Beyond that, he just hasn’t shown any kind of positive momentum this spring. He has the second-worst ERA on the club at 13.50 and this morning BSN Denver witnessed him struggling even against Double-A competition on the Salt River Backfields.

11. Matt Carisiti — Carisiti has yet to find the kind of dominance he flashed in the minors against MLB competition, but he is holding his own better than a year ago. He has given up four hits and walked four in 3.2 innings this spring but has allowed just one run, showing the kind of presence with guys on base that can make a difference.

10. 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.

9. Miguel Castro –His numbers are ugly, but you can only drop a guy with his stuff so far. A rough spring aside, Castro is set to begin the year as the closer in Albuquerque.

8. Harrison Musgrave – Musgrave has been given a decent look, getting eight innings so far this spring, posting a 4.50 ERA, striking out six and walking just one. He has the ability to go multiple innings and when you combine that with his left-handedness, he just may find himself on the MLB roster come Opening Day, especially if none of the more experienced guys step up.

7. Scott Oberg – Oberg keeps pitching well with a 3.38 ERA over 5.1 innings. It is seeming more and more likely that he is in the ‘pen come Opening Day unless the Rockies decide to get creative and put a starting prospects (like German Marquez) in the bullpen early in the year.

6. Carlos Estevez – Estevez still has his big fastball, helping him achieve a 1.00 WHIP and five strikeouts in five innings. He has also walked just one and has apparently added a curveball which could be huge for him getting hitters of the scent of his heater.

5. Chris Rusin — Rusin’s health is going to keep him out of rotation consideration, according to Bud Black, but he should be good to go in the first week and there will almost certainly be a spot waiting for him upon return.

4. Mike Dunn – Dunn has quietly pitched five innings allowing just one baserunner; a walk. That’s good for a 0.20 WHIP, combined with seven strikeouts, he so far looks like exactly who the Rockies were hoping for when they signed him.

3. Jake McGee – One of the early signs of trouble for McGee a year ago was that his velocity was down, and through injury, it never really consistently showed up. But we have already seen him pumping 96-97 MPH pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. He looks like the dominant guy he used to be and his ceiling is as high as anyone in this bullpen.

2. Greg HollandGreg Holland makes his first spring training appearance today. Let’s see what happens.

1. Adam Ottavino – Another bad outing like his last time out, and we might have to consider moving Otto down, but he has a resume that suggests we not get carried away with one game where he couldn’t find the command.

Drew Creasman is the Managing Editor of BSN Rockies and a writer at Pop Culture Spin in addition to working as a solo musician in the Denver/Boulder area. A lifelong Coloradan, Drew has always been plugged into the local sports and entertainment scene and has a healthy obsession with fact-based debate.

  • TMDavis

    Lyles is out of options and with 5+ years of service time could decline an assignment to AAA even if he cleared waivers. Qualls has been hurt for a couple of weeks. Interesting that you have Carisiti in front of guys on the 40-man roster despite the fact that he was out-righted this past off-season.

    • Jimbotronn

      The stats for Lyles that the author cites are a prime reason why using a small sample size of spring training stats is not a great method to rank players… especially in spring you have to look at the bigger picture rather than just at the overall stats. Lyles has indeed given up six runs in (now) 7.2 innings this spring, for an ERA of 7.04… but 5 of those were in a single game. Take out one inning in late February and Lyles has given up one run in 6.2 innings, for an ERA of 1.35.

      To conclude that he “almost certainly” needs to start the year in AAA based on an ERA over 7 in six games is almost as silly as concluding that he should be the Rockies’ closer based on an ERA under 1.5 in five games. He’s pitched better than his stats this spring and is almost certain to make the team with Rusin injured.

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