The Rockies announced today that they’ve selected the contract of left-hander Fernando Abad. In corresponding moves, right-hander Peter Lambert was optioned to Triple-A while shortstop Connor Kaiser was designated for assignment.
Abad, 37, made his MLB debut with the Astros back in 2010. The veteran journeyman pitched also pitched for the Nationals, A’s, Twins, Red Sox, Giants, and Orioles throughout his career before landing in Colorado on a minor league deal back in January. Abad was selected to the roster back in May and made three appearances with the Rockies before being designated for assignment and re-signing with the club on a new minor league deal shortly thereafter.
The veteran sports a career 3.82 ERA and 4.31 FIP in 351 innings of work, though most of that success came from 2010-17. Since the end of the 2017 season, Abad has recorded just 33 1/3 innings of work at the big league level with a 5.40 ERA and 5.09 FIP. The lefty has posted impressive numbers with Colorado’s Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque, however, with a sterling 1.40 ERA in 25 2/3 innings of work. Those run prevention numbers are especially impressive considering the heightened offensive environment in Triple-A’s Pacific Coast League.
Going forward, Abad will look to re-establish himself at the big league level with the Rockies as part of a bullpen that currently contains Daniel Bard, Brad Hand, Justin Lawrence, and Pierce Johnson as late-inning options. Abad joins Hand and Ty Blach as left-handed options in the bullpen for manager Bud Black.
Making room for Abad on the 40-man roster is shortstop Connor Kaiser, who appeared in just three games with the Rockies when selected to the roster back in June while Ezequiel Tovar was on the paternity list. A third round pick by the Pirates in the 2018 draft, Kaiser posted a roughly league average slash line of .263/.357/.485 in 224 plate appearances at the Triple-A level with the Rockies this season. Still just 26 years old, Kaiser seems likely to be placed on waivers, where any club will have the opportunity to claim him. Should he go unclaimed, the Rockies will have the option to assign Kaiser outright to the minors where he would continue to serve as infield depth for the club.
Clearing space on the active roster, on the other hand, is Lambert. The 26-year-old righty was a second round pick by the Brewers in the 2015 drat and once seemed like a promising prospect, but injuries and ineffectiveness have dogged him in recent years. In 2023, Lambert has posted a 6.29 ERA and a 5.99 FIP in 34 1/3 innings of work at the big league level. As noted by MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, Lambert is expected to pitch out of the rotation in Triple-A, providing the club with additional starting depth going forward.