The Colorado Rockies have seven players who will reach free agency at season’s end.
Though that group lacks the star power of last offseason’s duo of Trevor Story and Jon Gray, there’s one player who could be highly coveted by clubs looking to contend in 2023.
Carlos Estévez may have a career earned run average of 4.67, but his upside over the years has suggested the potential of a closer.
The 29-year-old has a 4.12 ERA and an ERA+ of 115 over the last two seasons, and going back to the start of the 2019 season shows he’s been equally as good: 4.38 ERA with a 113 ERA+.
What’s most impressive about the 6’6″ right-hander is the durability Estévez has shown over the last four seasons.
Only six relievers have appeared more frequently than his 216 games in that span while just nine have thrown more than his 207.1 innings.
The performance of Estévez during the second half will also be a factor for teams looking to bolster their bullpen.
Since the All-Star Break, he’s pitched to the lowest ERA (1.47) among National League relievers (min. 19 games) and his WHIP (0.87) is second-lowest.
Monday’s pre-game media scrum brought news of Lucas Gilbreath being sidelined for the remainder of the year with a left elbow flexor strain. The 26-year-old will be receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection to improve healing.
The surgery to repair Antonio Senzatela’s ACL went well on August 28. He’ll need 6-8 month recovery time before he’s back for the Rockies.
José Iglesias will need several more days until the swelling on his right hand subsides. Colorado’s shortstop went on the injured list Tuesday, dated retroactive to Monday. The earliest he can return to action will be Sept 16 against the Cubs in Chicago.
No major news on both Kris Bryant and Ezequiel Tovar.
For Bryant, it’s been increased activity, albeit in the walking boot used to support his plantar fasciitis.
The Rockies’ top free agent acquisition last offseason has been able to play catch, but has not picked up a bat since hitting the IL for a third time this season on August 1.
Lastly, GM Bill Schmidt said the team’s top infield prospect is still getting healthy from a groin injury that’s sidelined the 21-year-old since late June.
“We’re getting closer probably to when he’ll start playing some games,” Schmidt said on Tuesday. “We’re not there yet.”
Tuesday’s 10-7 victory over the Brewers matched their largest comeback of the season after trailing by five runs (last: July 3 vs. Arizona, 5-0).
Colorado also hit a season-high four home runs in the game, including two from Randal Grichuk.
“Probably up there in the top (games),” Grichuk said when asked about where this performance ranks in his career. “To hit a game-tying home run and the game-winning homer. It was pretty special.”
It was also quite rare.
He became the first player in Rockies’ history to tie the game with a home run in the eighth inning or later and then also hit a walk-off home run in the same game.
The last player to do it in MLB was five years ago: Baltimore’s Trey Mancini on June 7, 2017.
Yonathan Daza also staked a claim as the player of the game in his first action since returning from the injured list with a left shoulder dislocation.
Not only did he record his second home run of the season, but he tied the game in the 10th with a leadoff double.
Of Daza’s four career homers, three have come against Milwaukee.