Rockies get fourth option on Reynolds

November 2, 2010 | 11:54 am | 18  

The Colorado Rockies learned they will get a fourth minor league option for pitcher Greg Reynolds because he was injured in 2009 and didn’t get 60 days of active service. The fourth option wasn’t granted until after the 2010 season, when the Rockies used their third, but as it turned out not final, option on Reynolds.

He began the 2009 season at Triple-A Colorado Springs, started and pitched 4 1/3 innings the first day of the season and never pitched again due to a scapula problem. On Oct. 27, 2009, Reynolds underwent exploratory surgery in Lexington, Ky., where Dr. Ben Kibler, a scapula specialist removed scar tissue underneath Reynolds’ right scapula or shoulder blade. Reynolds’ rhomboid muscle was irritating the area, and Kibler detached and reattached it in a slightly different spot. Reynolds said Kibler told him had Reynolds not had the surgery, he would not have been able to pitch.

Reynolds threw very well at the outset of spring training but on March 1 in his second batting practice session, he was hit with a line drive just above the right elbow. He suffered a nasty bruise and chipped bone but was fortunate the latter wasn’t in the joint area where it would have affected Reynolds’ ability to pitch.

Reynolds was sidelined three weeks and essentially had to start spring training over when he was cleared to pitch. He finally made his 2010 debut May 8 at high Class A Modesto and after two very good starts moved up to Double-A Tulsa. He went 7-6 with a 5.22 ERA in 17 starts for the Drillers. Reynolds stumbled in a five-inning outing the final day of the season, but in six previous starts went 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA and six walks and 20 strikeouts in 38 innings.

After missing virtually all of 2009, Reynolds pitched 100 2/3 innings this year. He’s 0-3 with a 7.50 ERA in four starts for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League, and his fastball velocity, which was solid average during the regular season has dropped slightly. Given his extended 2010 season following last year’s layoff, that’s not surprising.



  • Cisco Kid | November 2, 2010 | 12:10 pm

    Hard to believe this guy was drafted ahead of Lincecum. Two Cy Youngs and a WS championship later, oh what could have been. I don’t even want to think that we could have also had Evan Longoria. How would the Long Beach duo of Longoria and Tulo look in the Rox lineup about now?

  • Steve Foster | November 2, 2010 | 12:28 pm

    There were a lot of players drafted before Lincecum, including the guy who was regarded as the surest bet in the draft — Andrew Miller — who might be non-tendered by Florida this winter after another disappointing season. The only teams ahead of the Giants in that draft who can look back and say they did OK by passing on Lincecum are the Rays, who took Longoria third overall, and the Dodgers, who took Clayton Kershaw seventh (but even they would still rather have Lincecum now than Kershaw).

    The disappointment in my eyes from that draft is the other one you mention, Cisco. Longoria was the consensus top position player. At the time, the Rockies were coming off three consecutive drafts in which they took an infielder (Stewart in 2003, Nelson in 2004 and Tulo in 2005) with their first pick. So it’s understandable that they passed on another infielder in a draft that was rich (or at least looked it at the time) in pitching. Funny now to consider that the Rockies received more criticism for not taking one of the more highly touted pitchers like Brad Lincoln, Brandon Morrow or Miller than they did for passing on Longoria and Lincecum. Point is a lot of teams made big mistakes in that draft and passed on Lincecum for the same reason, but not drafting Longoria was a mistake only the Rockies and Royals had a chance to make and did make.

  • Julian | November 2, 2010 | 2:06 pm

    It’s sad to think that we could have had Lincecum or Longoria, but it’s not productive to focus on that. We need to figure out how to make the best of the players that we do have or can get. Hopefully, Reynolds can become a starting pitcher for the Rockies, even if it’s as a #5 starter.

  • Robb | November 2, 2010 | 2:43 pm

    It really sounds to me that Reynolds is toast. The AFL is a solid league, but it is really for up and coming players or other guys like Reynolds trying to see what they have left. Just sounds like injuries have taken too much of a toll on him.

  • Mike Raysfan | November 2, 2010 | 2:55 pm

    I think the thing to remember when it comes to Lincecum is that many in baseball thought there was risk. The big question was his motion coupled with his size. Could he maintain it and stay arm healthy. No one wanted to roll the dice and SF got lucky.

    I’m guessing Cisco mentioned Evan Longoria and Tulo because of the Fielding Bible awards? I’m glad he is a Ray. Ian Stewart. When I talk about players needing to step up and start playing up to their potential I am referencing him more than any other. I still believe he has huge potential and could easily be every bit as good as Longoria or better. Longoria went 22 hr/104 rbi vs 18/61 with Stewart. The big difference is the obp .372 vs .338. I am not ready to give up on Stewart yet BUT the clock is ticking.

  • Jeff | November 2, 2010 | 3:25 pm

    Agbayani, regarding your question on the previous article of how I got Reynold’s speed on the pitches. It was off of the Gametrack at With the Fall games it is hit and miss if they give you the speed and movement (both horizontal and vertical) on the piches. I assume you are familiar with that. I coach HS kids in pitching so sometimes am the nerd looking for the numbers of comparisons between pitchers.

    Reynold’s pitches lacked both from what I could tell in a very blind way. Tragically he got hammered again through the lineup. I hope the opposite. It would be great to see him overcome these injuries he has suffered from.

  • Jeff | November 2, 2010 | 3:32 pm

    Steve, thanks for your work! Great points that the Rockies were not the only team to miss on Lincecum. Oh to have a mulligan. It is great to be able to realize the reality with Reynolds but also appreciate the other fine picks the Rockies have made.

    Okay, if I might go off topic and pick your brain. Say you are the GM of SF and you only have so much cash on hand for one long term contract. Like a scene from Survivor, who would you boot off the island, Lincecum or Cain?

  • ProgMatinee | November 2, 2010 | 3:48 pm

    Lincecum will bring the fans. Not sure Cain would. Though, I don’t know if SF has to worry about that anyway.

    From the Rockies POV or any other team not selling out all the time, I’d take Lincecum for that reason.

  • Jeff | November 2, 2010 | 3:48 pm

    Jack, I apologize. I had mentioned Steve writing this article. But thanks to all who make this site possible!

  • Bruce | November 2, 2010 | 5:31 pm

    Way do the Rockies even have Reynolds in the AFL? By now he is no better that a fifith starter ar long man out of the pen.

  • JP | November 2, 2010 | 9:33 pm

    Another team that whiffed on Lincecum was the Mariners. They drafted Brandon Morrow ahead of Lincecum. What’s funny is that the M’s, under Bill Bavasi, had an unhealthy obsession with drafted and signing local talent… and Lincecum is from Renton, which is basically a southern suburb of Seattle. They passed on Lincecum over concerns about his slight stature and violent delivery… for a pitcher who had diabetes. A pitcher’s delivery can be altered; his blood chemistry cannot. Morrow could have been a #2 starter for the M’s, but Bavasi and Hargrove made a huge mistake in promoting him as an 8th inning reliever after just a handful of games at the minor league level, and then continually jerked him back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen, and the majors and minors. In retrospect, a rotation with Felix Hernandez and Tim Lincecum would have been ridiculous, whereas now, the M’s have Brandon League and Johermyn Chavez, who they received from Toronto for Morrow. I call that a BIG whiff.

  • Jeff | November 2, 2010 | 10:03 pm

    Good point JP. No team can gripe more after than draft than Seattle. With the Mariners, they chose to skip over a local boy who stayed home and pitched for the UW Huskies and set NCAA strikeout records. It was every GM’s PR dream for a struggling club. Morrow was considered “safer,” sugar levels notwithstanding. In the same way, Reynolds was the prototype that scouts loved – big man on the mound. Interesting to see trends now as the Lincecums like a Koufax before him can be good. Baseball is not benching 300lb but throwing a five ounce ball.

  • Rich M | November 3, 2010 | 2:35 pm

    The MLB granting of this option means that G Reynolds gets one last chance to justify his draft selection. Barring a miracle or another injury he will start the 2011 season with the Sky Sox, thus postponing the Rockies decision to cut him loose for yet another year.

    G Reynolds as it stands now is at best a AA pitcher that can be throughly dominated by MLB hitters.

  • Eric G. | November 3, 2010 | 4:27 pm

    AA is usually where your best prospects are. AAA is where all the “old” guys(25,26,27+)sit and wait for someone in the big leagues to get hurt. I’d say he fits AAA pretty well.

  • Rich M | November 3, 2010 | 5:40 pm

    Yes however the highest level that G Reynolds’s pitching and stuff has been effective at was AA – a few years back.

  • Doctor_Christopher | November 3, 2010 | 9:47 pm

    Steve, I always thought that the Lincecum to Rockies aspect misses that his smaller frame might well have struggled here at altitude, where the wear and tear is not healed as quickly. Apples and oranges. I have always wondered on Morrow, why the Rockies passed on him (granted this was the first year that he really showed his true talent). Do not even remember if he was talked about by the front office.

    Jack, does getting this option in anyway change their approach with Reynolds? This guy had the talent to be the #2 overall – we have to remember that it was there once. I hope he makes it, not just for the Rockies but for him. I seem to remember when he was picked people thought his ceiling was a #2 or #3, but if he could within the next two years become a solid #5 or #4, I think everyone would be happy. He is still young…but in the majors the clock runs so much faster.

  • Eric G. | November 4, 2010 | 8:25 am

    Ok, gotcha Rich

  • Jack Etkin | November 4, 2010 | 2:25 pm

    Getting an extra option means, one, the Rockies don’t have to try to put Reynolds through waivers next spring if they deem him not ready for the majors and, two, the Rockies get an extra season to evaluate Reynolds and monitor his development.