Former Dust Devils Making an Impact With Current Rockies
With almost a quarter of the 2012 MLB season finished, rosters are taking shape and teams are looking to make adjustments for the rest of the year. The Colorado Rockies’ current 40-man roster includes eight former Dust Devils, five of which are active on the 25-man roster.
Relief pitchers Rex Brothers and Matt Reynolds have become staples of the Rockies’ bullpen, ranking first and third in appearances through the first 33 games of the season. Brothers, who spent time in Tri-City in 2009, is 1-1 in 18 appearances and 12 2/3 innings pitched on the year, with a 3.55 earned run average. Reynolds, who was a part of the 2007 Dust Devils East Division title winning team, is 3-0 this season in 15 appearances. The left-hander has a 4.15 earned run average in 13 innings pitched on the year.
In the rotation former Dust Devil starters Juan Nicasio and Christian Friedrich are each trying to establish themselves as fixtures in a pitching staff that has the second highest earned run average in Major League Baseball, 5.10, only ahead of the early-season candidate for worst team of the year in the Minnesota Twins.
Nicasio spent the 2008 season with the Dust Devils and made the jump to the MLB in 2011, before a line drive hit him and broke his neck, ending his season prematurely. He has rebounded as well as anyone could hope in 2012, going 2-1 in his first seven starts of the year after beginning the campaign in the Rockies’ rotation. In those starts the Dominican Republic native has thrown 40 2/3 total innings and tallied an earned run average of 4.65.
Friedrich, a first-round selection in the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Rockies, spent time with the Dust Devils in that same year and has worked his way up the team’s farm system and has made the most of his opportunities. Last week the lefty made his MLB debut, after injuries and a disappointing start to the season opened up a slot in the Rockies’ starting rotation. In his debut, on the road against the San Diego Padres, Friedrich looked the part of a first-round draft pick, earning the win while striking out seven, walking one and allowing one earned run over six innings. The start was good enough for the Eastern Kentucky alum to earn a second start, which is tonight on the road against the San Francisco Giants.
Offensively there’s only one current active player on the Rockies’ roster who played for the Dust Devils, catcher turned infielder Jordan Pacheco. Pacheco spent portions of the 2007 and 2008 seasons in Tri-City, playing a combination of infield positions as well as catcher. This season Pacheco has played 11 games with the Rockies, batting .200 (5-for-25) with a triple and two walks. He’s played primarily due to the absence of Eric Young Jr., who has left the team to be with his grandfather who suffered a stroke earlier this month. Pacheco earned the call-up in large part due to his bat, batting .433 in 17 games thus far this season in Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Former Dust Devils on the Rockies’ 40-man roster, who are inactive for various reasons, include left-handed pitcher Edwar Cabrera, outfielder Charlie Blackmon and infielder Hector Gomez. None of the trio has made an appearance for the Rockies this season, with Charlie Blackmon as the only one with significant previous time playing for the Major League club. Last season Blackmon played 27 games for the Rockies after being called up mid-season, batting .255 in 102 plate appearances. Gomez is currently on the 15-day disabled list while Cabrera is doing well in double-A with the Tulsa Drillers, where he is 4-2 in seven starts with a 3.09 earned run average.
Don’t miss your chance to watch future Major Leaguers as the Dust Devils’ 2012 season begins on June 15th against the Everett AquaSox. Ticket packages are on sale now and start at just $49, with full-season tickets available for as low as $259. Special ticket rates are available for groups of 20 or more. Season tickets, mini-plans, and group tickets can be purchased by contacting the Dust Devils front office at (509) 544-8789 or at the Gesa Stadium box office.