The Rockies have optioned right-handed pitcher Jeff Hoffman to Triple-A Albuquerque, according to Nick Groke of The Athletic (Twitter link). The move leaves Colorado with 28 players in Major League camp.
Hoffman, the Blue Jays’ first-round choice in the 2014 MLB draft, will face a pivotal year in 2019, as his future in the organization could be on the line in the coming season. While Hoffman’s stuff has never been questioned, his results at the MLB level have thus far failed to live up to expectations, as he has worked to a career 5.88 ERA in 139 1/3 innings. Hoffman’s demotion to Triple-A comes on the heels of a spring in which he has posted an underwhelming 6.63 ERA, though his peripherals provide more reason for optimism: Hoffman managed 8.1 K/9 while surrendering just 0.9 HR/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
With Hoffman in the minors, Harrison Musgrave will take the final spot in the Colorado bullpen. Hoffman should slot in as the Rockies’ first choice to join the Major League rotation in the event of injury. Antonio Senzatela, who will begin the season on the injured list, is also an option to fill in as a starter as needed. The Rockies will look for Hoffman to hone his command and tap into the potential that made him a high draft selection.