The Rockies announced on Thursday that they have optioned right-handed pitchers Jose Mujica, Ryan Castellani and Jesus Tinoco, as well as outfielder Yonathan Daza to Triple-A Albuquerque (Twitter link).
The most noteworthy name in the bunch is Mujica, as he was the only free agent signing for the Rockies this past offseason. Mujica had Tommy John surgery in September of 2018 and was cut loose by the Rays shortly thereafter. After missing all of 2019, the Rockies signed him in November. However, it appears the team viewed that signing as more of a long-term investment, given that he doesn’t have a spot in the rotation for the short term. But since he’s still only 23 years old, there’s still time for him to force his way into the picture.
Castellani should also be in the Triple-A rotation, battling Mujica for position on the depth chart. The 24-year-old will be looking to get back on track after a miserable 2019, during which injuries limited him to 43 1/3 innings of 8.31 ERA ball. Castellani did have an encouraging conclusion to his season in the Arizona Fall League, though, as he put up a 2.16 ERA through 16 2/3 innings.
Tinoco logged decent bottom-line production in 2019, with an ERA of 4.75 in 36 innings out of the bullpen. But FIP and xFIP weren’t nearly as impressed, pegging him at 7.91 and 5.84, respectively. He was optioned and recalled three times over the year and seems poised for a similar fate in 2020.
As for Daza, the 26-year-old has put up solid numbers in the minors but didn’t impress during his 105 plate appearances at the big league level in 2019. He slashed .206/.257/.237 for a wRC+ of 19.