Hynick Surprised, Excited By Trade

August 31, 2009 | 11:36 pm | 4  

Pitcher Brandon Hynick was surprised to receive a call late Monday night from Rockies player development director Marc Gustafson. Getting traded never entered Hynick’s mind. And he didn’t think Gustafson would be calling if Hynick was going to be called up to the Rockies on Tuesday when the rosters are expanded.

Gustafson spoke briefly with Hynick, 24, to tell him he been traded to the White Sox for veteran Jose Contreras, whom the Rockies acquired to fill their need for a fifth starter.

“Definitely it was a little mix of surprise and excitement,” Hynick told InsidetheRockies.com. “Nobody really expects to be traded. It’s an exciting opportunity. I’m happy about it. A trade means somebody wants you.”

Hynick went 10-9 with a 3.83 ERA in 26 starts for the Sky Sox and threw a seven-inning perfect game June 30 against Portland. The whole has always been greater than the sum of the parts with Hynick, who has average stuff but possesses a solid feel for pitching and the ability to locate.

In 155 innings with the Sky Sox, Hynick walked 48 and struck out 92 and held opposing hitters to a .257 average, pitching half his games the harsh pitching environment that is Colorado Springs.

Contreras, 37, went 5-13 with a 5.42 ERA for the White Sox in 21 starts, the last coming Saturday at Yankee Stadium where he lasted 3 1/3 innings and 77 pitches while getting strafed for nine hits and eight runs, six earned, in a 10-0 loss to the Yankees.

Contreras went 1-3 with a 7.66 ERA in six August starts, pitching more than 4 1/3 innings in just one of them. He figures to step into the Rockies rotation Saturday on two extra days of rest when they need a fifth starter.

Hynick last pitched Friday for the Sky Sox, which would have put him on course to start Saturday for the Rockies with one extra day of rest. That turn in the Rockies rotation will arise, because manager Jim Tracy has chosen not to give another start to Josh Fogg, who was filling in for injured Aaron Cook.

Hynick said he contemplated getting called up to the Rockies and admitted, “It’s hard not to think about it.” While he was well aware of Cook’s injury and the Rockies need for a starter Saturday, Hynick didn’t try to take that scenario too far because, “you really get in trouble when you start playing general manager.”

Hynick reached double figures in victories for the third straight season this year and leaves the Rockies organization after going 40-24 with a 3.43 ERA in four years. However, in the past two seasons, at Double-A and Triple-A, Hynick has gone 20-16 with a 4.15 ERA, and there were questions within the organization how Hynick’s below-average stuff would play in the big leagues.

A former first baseman, Hynick said that experience as a position player has helped him think along the lines of a hitter and, in turn, counter that thinking on the mound.

Hynick said he expects to learn where he’s going Tuesday. Charlotte is the White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate, and the Knights, who are in last place in their division, end their season Sept. 7.

The Rockies drafted Hynick in the eighth round in 2006 out of Birmingham-Southern College. He is from the Cleveland area, and the trade to the White Sox will put him close to home, possibly very soon.

“I know the last month of the season (the White Sox) play a lot of inter-divisional games,” Hynick said, “so getting close to home or maybe going home will be exciting.”

The White Sox have three games remaining with the Indians, Sept. 28-30 at Cleveland.

4 Comments »

  • Paul | September 1, 2009 | 10:43 am

    Great. Getting an old used up pitcher. Why not give Hynick a chance than bring this worn out pitcher here? Why not try for John Garland or even Brad Penny?

  • Ryan | September 1, 2009 | 12:20 pm

    Agreed, Paul. This reminds me of the Livan acquisition from last year. I think we gave up too much this time for a short-term rental. Granted we have lots of young arms in the system (Chacin, Greg Smith, Reynolds, etc.) but I would have still preferred to see Hynick stick around and prove himself at the major league level. It makes me wonder if this trade would have been made had we not been swept in SF.

  • Ben | September 1, 2009 | 1:07 pm

    I don’t know anything about this pitcher we are getting, but as a White sox fan I would have taken a bag of baseballs for Contreras. I wish the Rockies well, but I don’t know what they are thinking.

  • nate | September 1, 2009 | 10:47 pm

    Is there any way Alan Johnson might get called up take a start for the Rockies? He has been pretty solid after to getting off to a great start for the Sky Sox.