With four-fifths of their starting rotation on the disabled list, the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday acquired RHP Jair Jurrjens from the Cincinnati Reds. Jurrjens will bring a veteran arm to a rotation that features three pitchers who were recently promoted from the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox, with two making their MLB debut.
"We're very young right now on the mound. And guys are doing their best. They're battling," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
"But it does help to have a guy with some experience with the ball in his hand, dictating the game like a pitcher does. It's always nice to bring that into the fold."
The 28 year old Jurrjens, who was an All-Star for the Atlanta Braves in 2011, has a career mark of 53-37 with a 3.63 ERA over seven major league seasons. Jurrjens made his major league debut with the Detroit Tigers on August 15, 2007. He was traded to the Braves in October of 2007 where he pitched until 2012 when he was granted costless agency. The Baltimore Orioles signed Jurrjens in February of 2013 and bounced between the Orioles and Triple-A before being given his release in July. He was quickly resigned by the Tigers and sent to their Triple-A affiliate in Toledo. Jurrjens once again became a costless agency following the 2013 season and was not signed again until May 20 of this year by the Reds and once again optioned to Triple-A.
This year with Triple-A Louisville, Jurrjens has given up 42 hits and 13 walks in 34 1/3 innings of work. He has struck out 27 but has consistently dealt with traffic on the bases in his outings.
Jurrjens has dealt with knee issues since 2011 and had surgery to repair a minor meniscus tear in his right knee last September. Because the Rockies are dealing with a depleted pitching corps, they feel it is worth the risk to take on a pitcher whose production has declined in recent years and has battled injuries.
"When he was having his success was when I was away from the game, so I didn't get to see him firsthand, but obviously I've gotten a lot of information on him," manager Walt Weiss said. "He's had some health issues, but not necessarily tied to his arm, but some lower-half issues, which is a good thing if you're a pitcher.
"We're very young right now on the mound. Guys are doing their best. They're battling. But it does help to have a guy with some experience that's got the ball in his hand, dictating like a pitcher does."
Jurrjens will initially report to Colorado Springs but his stay in Triple-A is expected to be a short one.
The Rockies sent Double-A Tulsa Drillers second baseman Harold Riggins to the Reds in the deal. Riggins batted .263 with seven homers and 25 RBI's.