The Rockies drafted Gilbreath, who was born in Westminster, Colo., twice -- once out of Legacy (Colo.) High School in 2014 (36th round), and again in '17 (seventh round) out of the University of Minnesota. The 25-year-old hadn’t pitched in a professional game since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but manager Bud Black said Gilbreath made a strong impression in Spring Training.
“I know he had a good offseason, physically and mentally, and when he came to Spring Training, he showed those signs of improvement and the talent, more than anything, to potentially compete in the big leagues,” Black said. “The more we saw him in the spring, the more he got in between the lines, the more we conversed with him outside the lines about pitching, about baseball, about where he was mentally, it started to feel right as a guy that could potentially help us this year.”
Gilbreath has a three-pitch mix consisting of a 94-97 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup, with the changeup still being fine-tuned. In three Minor League seasons between Rookie ball, Class A and Class A Advanced from 2017-19, he posted a 5.35 ERA over 66 appearances (59 starts).
“It’s great stuff,” Black said. “We saw it with Kyle [Freeland]. Any time you make your debut in your home state, your favorite team you grew up rooting for, it’s special stuff. I hope it’s a successful [debut] if it happens today. There’s no better feeling than that with all the family and friends who I’m sure will be watching -- I assume some of them are attending today’s games. It’s a great day for Lucas and his family and friends.”