Rockies add lefty Hand on 1-year deal

March 4th, 2023

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Rockies filled an injury-created hole and continued building their late bullpen on Saturday by signing left-hander .

Hand, who turns 33 on March 20, went 3-2 with a 146 ERA+ in 55 games with the Phillies last season, making two scoreless World Series appearances. He has a career 3.62 ERA, a 112 ERA+ and 131 saves over 12 seasons with the Marlins, Padres, Cleveland, the Nationals, Mets, Blue Jays and Phillies. He appeared in three straight All-Star Games from 2017-19.

With Lucas Gilbreath headed for Tommy John surgery, the bullpen needed an experienced lefty. Since late last season, the Rockies have picked up (a former Padres starter who has been converted to relief), signed righty to a one-year contract after his strong postseason performance with the Padres, and claimed lefty off waivers from the Brewers after he had been a postseason performer with them.

“He’s a veteran left-handed reliever who’s had a lot of success in the league,” general manager Bill Schmidt said of Hand, whose most effective pitch is a slider he can use for strikeouts or weak contact. “With Lucas being out, he has the ability to pitch late in games.”

With Suter and Hand on the 40-man roster and some experienced non-roster candidates in camp -- , and having been particularly effective so far -- the Rockies hope not to be caught short from the left side. At times last season, Gilbreath was the only true lefty reliever, and starter-type Austin Gomber found himself spending much of the season in the bullpen.

To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the Rockies placed righty reliever Tyler Kinley on the 60-day injured list. Kinley was headed to a career year in 2022 -- 0.75 ERA in 25 games -- before having to undergo surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Kinley will miss the first half of the season.