DENVER -- The Rockies added left-handed pitchers Edwar Cabrera and Christian Friedrich to their 40-man Major League roster before Friday night's deadline for setting their list of protected players for the winter. The Rockies also outrighted infielder-outfielder Andrew Brown to Triple-A Colorado Springs, after he cleared waivers. The additions of Cabrera and Friedrich, both 24-year-old organization products, and the subtraction of Brown leave the Rockies with 38 protected players. Those with sufficient time in the Minors that weren't protected and aren't under contract can be taken in the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 8, the last day of the Winter Meetings, which begin Dec. 5, in Dallas. Under Rule 5, if a team selects a player from another club, that player must either be carried on the active roster throughout the 2012 season or, before he can be sent to the Minors, he must be offered back to his previous club.
By being added to the Major League roster, Friedrich and Cabrera are eligible to be called into Major League service for the first time in their careers. They were at opposite ends of the production scale in 2011. Cabrera, a native of the Dominican Republic, was pitching in his first full season. Yet, he set a Rockies Minor League record -- and led all of Minor League Baseball -- with 217 strikeouts, and went 8-3 with a 3.34 ERA in a combined 26 starts at two Class A stops, Asheville and Modesto. Cabrera was a midseason South Atlantic League All-Star at Asheville, where he was 4-2 with a 3.14 ERA with 118 strikeouts to 18 walks over 13 starts. After a promotion to Modesto, in the advanced Class A California league, Cabrera went 4-1 with a 3.56 ERA with 107 strikeouts to 23 walks in 13 starts. Friedrich, the Rockies' top pick in the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Eastern Kentucky, spent the last two seasons at Double-A Tulsa. After struggling through a series of injuries in 2010, he went 6-10 with a 5.00 ERA in 25 starts. Friedrich was named a Texas league All-Star at midseason, when he was 6-5 with a 3.94 ERA, but did not win a game after June 26. Friedrich, however, entered the season as MLB.com's No. 50 prospect in all of Minor League Baseball. Brown, 27, spent most of last season at Triple-A Memphis before seeing 11 games with the Cardinals, for whom he hit .182 with one double and three RBIs. All of his defensive action was in right field. Brown was a Pacific Coast League All-Star at Memphis, where he batted .284 with 20 home runs and 73 RBIs in 107 games.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.