Bruihl, now 26, had spent the past few years with the Dodgers. Since being added to their roster in August of 2021, he made 65 major league appearances for that club with a 3.65 earned run average. His 15.6% strikeout rate was well below league average, but his 7.6% walk rate and 44.7% ground ball rate were both strong. He was designated for assignment just prior to the deadline when the Dodgers added Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly.
The Rockies sent cash considerations to the Dodgers in order to take a shot on Bruihl, which was a sensible gamble. They are now playing out the string on a lost season and he’s a pitcher with some major league success and years of club control remaining. But in 3 2/3 innings with his new club, he’s allowed six earned runs on four hits and three walks, which seems to have prompted the club to quickly move on.
Since the trade deadline is now in the rear-view mirror, the Rockies will have to put Bruihl on waivers in the coming days. Left-handed relief tends to always be in demand, which could lead to Bruihl getting some interest. If he has a new club prior to September 1, he would be postseason eligible for that team. He can still be optioned for the rest of this campaign and one more season and comes with five years of control beyond this one. If Bruihl were to clear waivers, he would have to accept an outright assignment since he doesn’t have three years of service or a previous career outright.
The Rockies will use the remaining weeks of the season to take a look at Justice, 25, who cracks a big league roster for the first time in his career, having been selected by the Rockies in the fifth round of the 2021 draft. He made a brief professional debut in the Complex League after that draft but spent all of 2022 on the minor league injured list.
This year, he has gone from High-A to Double-A to Triple-A, logging 38 2/3 innings between those levels with a 3.49 ERA. He’s struck out 38% of batters faced but also issued walks at a concerning rate of 15.7%. Back in June, Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs gave Justice an honorable mention on the list of top prospects in the system, noting that he was hitting 94-95 mph with his fastball but has been held back by a lack of command with his slider.