Prospects now protected from upcoming Rule 5 Draft
By Daniel Kramer
DENVER -- The Rockies announced Friday the promotion of five Minor League pitchers to their 40-man roster, a day after the Salt River Rafters, the club's Arizona Fall League affiliate was eliminated in the semifinal round of the playoffs.
Four of the contracts selected were right-handers -- Yency Almonte, Shane Carle, Rayan Gonzalez and Zach Jemiola -- with Sam Moll the lone lefty.
With the additions, the club now has 24 pitchers on its 40-man roster, which is one player shy of capacity. Players on the 40-man roster are protected from being selected in next month's Rule 5 Draft.
Almonte, who was acquired from the White Sox in the Tommy Kahnle trade last November, set career highs in starts (27), innings (168 1/3) and strikeouts (156) between stints at Class A Advanced Modesto and Double-A Hartford, where he was promoted in early August.
Ranked the club's No. 19 prospect on MLBPipeline.com, Almonte has hit 98 mph with his fastball, complementing it with a sharp slider and developing changeup. The 22-year-old was drafted by the Angels in 2012, since compiling 407 2/3 innings over his five-year pro career.
Moll, the club's third-round selection in the 2013 Draft, ranks No. 21 among Rockies prospects. The reliever was sidelined with elbow inflammation for a month in 2016, finishing the year 3-5 with a 4.74 ERA and two saves in 44 appearances -- all but two with Triple-A Albuquerque.
Carle, 25, spent all of 2016 with Albuquerque and struggled with a 5.42 ERA and 5-8 record in 27 outings, including 19 starts. He was acquired by Colorado in the Rob Scahill trade two winters ago and attended his first Spring Training last year as a non-roster invitee. He could be a long-reliever option on the MLB club at some point.
Jemiola, 22, went 1-3 with a 5.64 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in seven AFL starts. The Rockies' ninth-round pick in 2012 spent all of last season with Double-A Hartford, going 8-10 with a 4.39 ERA over a career-high 162 innings with a career-low 5.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
Gonzalez, 26, also spent the entire 2016 season with Hartford, showing upside with a 3.12 ERA and 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Rockies are still finalizing their staff under new manager Bud Black. Former Marlins manager Mike Redmond was hired as bench coach on Wednesday, while three members of previous manager Walt Weiss' staff -- third-base coach Stu Cole, pitching coach Steve Foster and bullpen coach Darren Holmes -- remain.
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.