The Colorado Rockies on Friday made their first batch of spring training roster moves, optioning three 40-man roster players to Triple-A and reassigning an additional four non-roster invitees to minor league camp.
Right-handed reliever Tommy Doyle was, among the group of rostered players, probably the one with the best chance of making the club out of spring training. That’s not to say his chances were great, though, having allowed six runs on six hits and four walks in his brief stint with the Rockies at the end of last season. Doyle has appeared in just one game this spring, working around a pair of walks to earn a save in the team’s Cactus League opener on Feb. 28.
Lefty starter Helcris Olivarez has been making waves ever since being added to the Rockies’ satellite camp (file that under phrases we all hope to never hear again) last year. The reason for that is because at just 20 years old, Olivarez packs a mid-90s fastball with a curveball and changeup that already flash plus. Olivarez didn’t show any of that in much of an effective way this spring, walking six batters and striking out just one in five innings spanning three appearances. But that’s not much of a surprise. He’ll likely take some lumps this season regardless of where he ends up in the Rockies’ minor league system, but he’s going to be fascinating to watch.
Infielder Elehuris Montero, whom the Rockies acquired in the Nolan Arenado trade, was the last of the three rostered players to be optioned. Montero, a top 100 overall prospect prior to the 2019 season according to MLB Pipeline, has gotten into five games this spring, hoping 1-for-7 with a couple of strikeouts at the plate. Montero was very good at a young age in A-ball in 2018 before struggling with the jump to Double-A the following year. Given the difficult environment for hitters that Double-A Hartford presents, the Rockies could opt to place him at High-A Spokane to start the season.
Colorado also moved right-handed relievers Julian Fernández and Heath Holder, as well as catcher Max George, to minor league camp. Fernández, in his first action of any kind since the 2017 season, allowed three runs on two hits and a pair of walks while failing to record an out in his lone Cactus League appearance thus far.
Holder has made three appearances, giving up a pair of unearned runs while striking out four batters and walking four. George has not seen any game action this spring.