Rockies Acquire Hammel

April 5, 2009 | 12:15 pm | 4  

Right-handed pitcher Jason Hammel completed a mound session on Sunday, and then confirmed that he was traded to the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies sent right-handed pitcher Aneury Rodriguez to Tampa Bay in exchange for Hammel.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Hammel is expected to join the Rockies in time for their home opener on Friday against Philadelphia. As a result, the Rockies do not have to make a roster move until that time.

Hammel will take the full 72-hour time frame a player is allowed to have before reporting to a new team, and the Rockies are off on Thursday, which delays a roster decision until Friday.

That should allow the Rockies to avoid a major decision, if they want, to as late as April 21. Left-hander Franklin Morales, who will start Wednesday’s game at Arizona, is likely to be sent to the minor leagues after that game so he can get regular work in a game situation while he waits for his next big-league start, which would be at Arizona on April 21.

In the meantime, the Rockies can explore trade possibilities with the likes of Juan Morillo, who would seem to be the reliever most in jeopardy once the Rockies bring back Morales.

Hammel, 26, will be used as a multi-inning reliever and spot starter by the Rockies. He was 4-4 with a 4.60 earned-run average for the AL champion Rays a year ago, making 35 of his 40 appearances out of the bullpen. He pitched two innings or longer in nine of his 35 relief outings, including four three-inning appearances.

Rodriguez, 21, originally was scheduled to be a member of the rotation at Double-A Tulsa this season, but there were recent indications he could wind up the swingman for the Drillers.

In order to make room on the 40-man roster for Hammels, the Rockies transferred left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis to the 60-day disabled list. He underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery in February and is expected to miss the entire season.

4 Comments »

  • Ryan | April 5, 2009 | 12:43 pm

    Jorge De La Rosa’s rotation spot isn’t in jeopardy, is it?

  • LCS | April 5, 2009 | 1:11 pm

    Good move by the Rockies- our current pitching depth just wasn’t there. I have to say that I would have much preferred Neimann (or however you spell his name)- a former first rounder with a lot of potential. My guess is that Aneury for him wasn’t an option.

    Still- I would be dissapointed if Morillo goes- despite his wildness he’s under team control for several more years at minimum wage, throws 100mph, and has the potential to be an impact player (or a bust, I admit). I just don’t think that our other relivers have that potential.

  • Jack Etkin | April 5, 2009 | 1:19 pm

    Not at this time, Ryan. Hammel did make five starts last year, all in April, but his immediate value to the Rockies is he gives them another power arm capable of pitching multiple innings. The Rockies have put in too much time building up De La Rosa’s psyche, nurturing him and making him feel comfortable in their organization to then do an about-face and replace him in the rotation. That makes no sense, not to mention he finished spring training throwing well and is a lefty with above-average velocity. The key for De La Rosa staying in the rotation will be to be more consistent for longer stretches than in the past. And if that doesn’t happen, well, the Rockies can address the issue then.

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