The Rockies have a major league-best .801 OPS here on June 3, but their staff ERA of 4.24 ranks 26th out of 30. A move will be made later this week to hopefully boost the pitching end of things.
According to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, the Rockies plan to call up top pitching prospect Eddie Butler on Friday and start him in their series-opener against the Dodgers, one of the teams Colorado is chasing in the National League West standings.
Butler was the 46th overall pick in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of Radford University in Virginia. The 23-year-old righty has compiled a 2.05 ERA and 238 strikeouts in 286 minor league innings and was ranked a Top 50 prospect by MLB.com, Baseball America, and Baseball Prospectus prior this offseason.
The Rockies (28-28) could also soon promote pitcher Jon Gray, the No. 3 overall pick in 2013.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.