The Rockies announced this afternoon they’ve selected left-hander Ty Blach. The Denver native returns to the majors for the first time in three years, doing so with his hometown club. To create space on the 40-man roster, Colorado placed southpaw Ryan Rolison on the 60-day injured list.
Blach pitched in the majors each season from 2016-19. He spent the majority of that time in the NL West, suiting up with the Giants. Blach soaked up 163 2/3 innings for San Francisco in 2017, posting a 4.78 ERA. He never missed many bats, but the Creighton product filled up the strike zone and posted better than average ground-ball numbers.
After a capable first few seasons in the majors, Blach had a rough showing in 2019. He served up ten runs in his first 6 1/3 frames as a Giant that year, leading the club to designate him for assignment. Baltimore claimed him off waivers, and he made five starts for the Orioles down the stretch. Blach’s results weren’t any better there either, as he served up an 11.32 ERA. The O’s designated him that September, and he cleared waivers.
Blach returned to the Orioles as a non-roster invitee to 2020 Summer Camp, but he suffered an elbow injury that necessitated Tommy John surgery. He returned late in 2021 to toss 15 Low-A innings on a rehab assignment, but for all intents and purposes, the procedure cost him the last two seasons.
After qualifying for minor league free agency, Blach signed a minors deal with the Rox. He’ll break camp with the big league team, presumably in a long relief capacity. While he has experience as a starter, Colorado is set to open the year with a rotation of Germán Márquez, Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, Austin Gomber and Chad Kuhl. The depth behind that group is pretty thin, however, meaning Blach could get a look in the event of an injury to any of the starting five.
Rolison was among the depth options, but he’ll miss at least the first two months of the season with what the team is calling a shoulder strain. Thomas Harding of MLB.com reported this afternoon (Twitter link) that he’ll be shut down for two weeks after receiving an anti-inflammatory injection. He’ll need a fair bit of time thereafter to gradually ramp back up, so it’s not a huge surprise the club is ruling him out until at least early June.
A former first-round pick, Rolison has yet to make his big league debut. He made ten starts with Triple-A Albuquerque last season, pitching to a disappointing 5.91 ERA in 45 2/3 innings. Despite those struggles, Baseball America slotted him fourth in the Rockies farm system this winter. According to BA, his plus curveball and command could give Rolison a chance to emerge as a back-of-the-rotation option, but he’ll first need to get healthy.