The Rockies have agreed to a minor league pact with left-hander David Holmberg, reports SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). The Meister Sports Management client will give Colorado some additional depth both in the rotation and bullpen after spending the bulk of the 2017 campaign with the White Sox.
Holmberg, 26, appeared in 37 games (seven starts) for the ChiSox last year and totaled 57 2/3 innings of work — a career-high for him at the big league level. The former second-round pick (White Sox, 2009) posted a 4.68 ERA but struggled mightily with his control, as he walked more batters (34) than he struck out (33) in that time. Righties and lefties alike hit Holmberg hard in 2017, and fielding-independent pitching metrics were more bearish than his ERA (6.80 FIP, 6.02 SIERA).
The southpaw has had considerably more success in Triple-A, however, where he’s logged a total of 299 2/3 innings in his career and worked to a 4.23 ERA with 5.5 K/9 against 2.9 BB/9. Holmberg was more of a fly-ball pitcher for most of his time in the mid and upper levels of the minors, but he’s recently begun to induce quite a few more grounders, notching a ground-ball rate just south of 49 percent over the past two seasons in Triple-A.
[Related: Colorado Rockies depth chart]
The Rockies are largely set on lefty relievers in the Majors, with Chris Rusin, Mike Dunn and Jake McGee all slotted into manager Bud Black’s bullpen. There’s no immediate opportunity in the big league rotation, either, where Jon Gray, German Marquez, Chad Bettis, Kyle Freeland and Tyler Anderson are starting as Jeff Hoffman mends his shoulder on the disabled list. But Holmberg could conceivably slot into either the rotation or bullpen for Triple-A Albuquerque as he hopes to earn another look at the big league level.