Lucas Gilbreath was in line for a big role in the Colorado Rockies bullpen heading into this season. Though, undergoing Tommy John Surgery will make the left-hander wait at least another year. He’ll miss the entire 2023 season and likely be sidelined into the ’24 campaign as well.
Though the news doesn’t come as a shock, its news that Gilbreath is still disappointed in. It was reported that the third-year veteran underwent an MRI that may lead to the procedure. Colorado signed veteran southpaw Brad Hand to a $3MM deal (assuming he’s not cut within the next three weeks). Hand should step in as a primary left-handed option for the Rockies, with Brent Suter adding a multiple-inning option.
Though, the club is obviously going to be disappointed to lose Gilbreath. He has quietly put together two good seasons, dating back to his rookie season in 2021. A season ago, he struck out 26.2% of batters faced with a solid 46.7% grounder rate. Gilbreath walked nearly 14% of opponents but he stifled left-handed batters to a .186 average and meager .220 slugging mark over 74 plate appearances. Hand and Suter could make a great pairing for Rockies manager Bud Black.
At some point, the Rockies may need to open a 40-man roster spot, and now they’ll have one available once they place Lucas Gilbreath on the 60-day IL. He’ll collect a full year of service while rehabbing, bringing him up to two years and 147 days of MLB time at season’s end. He is still under club control through 2027.
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