July 29: The Rockies have now officially selected Flexen, optioning Gavin Hollowell in a corresponding move. They already had a couple of vacancies on their 40-man roster, which is now at 39.
July 28: The Rockies will promote right-hander Chris Flexen to start tomorrow’s game against the A’s, tweets Luke Zahlmann of the Denver Gazette. Colorado will have to formally select his contract, as Flexen isn’t yet on the 40-man roster.
Flexen landed with the Rockies on a minor league deal two weeks ago. It was a good landing spot for the veteran, who’d been cut loose by the Mariners and Mets in rapid succession. The path back to the majors was easy to see with a Rockies’ club navigating a brutal stretch of injury luck in the starting staff.
Those health issues continued, as Colorado placed Chase Anderson on the 15-day injured list with shoulder inflammation this afternoon. Anderson has held a spot in the Rox’s rotation since being claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay in the second week of May. The 35-year-old has a 6.08 ERA through 14 appearances.
Flexen, 29, has spent the bulk of the year in the bullpen. He started four of 17 outings for Seattle, struggling to a 7.71 ERA across 42 innings. Flexen had been quite a bit better for the M’s in the preceding two seasons. He combined for a 3.66 ERA through 317 1/3 frames between 2021-22. His 16.5% strikeout percentage was below average, but Flexen kept his walks to a modest 6.8% clip.
The Mets agreed to take on what remains of his salary a few weeks ago as a means of acquiring reliever Trevor Gott from Seattle. Colorado will only pay Flexen the prorated amount of the $720K minimum salary for as long as he’s on the MLB roster. He’s headed back to free agency at year’s end but could use the next couple months as an audition for a spot in the 2024 rotation. Colorado’s rotation outlook for next season essentially consists only of Kyle Freeland and Austin Gomber at present. If Flexen can find some early success, it stands to reason the Rockies could have interest in re-signing him next winter.