The Rockies announced they’ve outrighted three players — pitchers Ty Blach and Helcris Olivarez and outfielder Wynton Bernard — off their 40-man roster. Colorado also confirmed the losses of catcher Dom Nuñez and infielder Ryan Vilade on waivers. Removing those five from the 40-man drops their tally to 32.
A former Giants starter, Blach inked a minor league deal with his hometown Rockies over the offseason. He made Colorado’s roster out of Spring Training and pitched in long relief. Blach soaked up 44 1/3 mostly low-leverage innings for the Rox, posting a 5.89 ERA. The soft-tossing southpaw only struck out 15% of batters faced but had an excellent 5.7% walk rate and a useful 43% grounder rate. He has between three and four years of big league service and would’ve been eligible for arbitration this offseason. Blach was only projected for an $800K salary, but the Rox will reallocate his roster spot.
Olivarez has never pitched in the big leagues. Colorado selected him onto the 40-man roster over the 2020-21 offseason to keep him being taken in the Rule 5 draft. The hard-throwing southpaw had been a quality prospect during his early days in the farm system, but he managed only a 6.05 ERA in 99 2/3 High-A innings in 2021. He spent almost all of this year on the injured list with a shoulder strain.
Bernard is a minor league veteran who began his professional career a decade ago. He made his MLB debut at age 32 this August, earning the long-awaited call after a .333/.387/.590 showing in Triple-A. He started 10 games in the big leagues and collected 12 hits in 42 at-bats, but he didn’t draw a walk and only managed one extra-base hit (a double).
Blach and Bernard have the right to refuse an outright assignment in favor of minor league free agency. Olivarez, on the other hand, will stick in the organization for 2023 and look to work his way back onto the 40-man roster.