Abad, 37, signed a previous minor league deal with the Rockies in the winter and began the year with Albuquerque. He got out to a great start there, tossing 16 innings in 13 appearances with a 1.69 ERA. His .206 batting average on balls in play and 97.6% strand rate were unsustainably lucky, but he was striking out 34.5% of batters faced while walking just 3.4%.
Those encouraging results got him back to the big leagues for the first time since 2021, as the Rockies selected his contract on May 15. His first two appearances went well but the Rangers put three runs on the board in his third outing, leading to a 10.13 ERA in a small sample of 2 2/3 innings. He was designated for assignment less than a week after being selected and then released shortly thereafter.
After a few days on the open market, the two sides have now reunited. It’s understandable why the Rockies would want to keep a veteran like Abad around, given the state of their pitching staff. Building a solid stable of arms in Colorado is challenging in the best of times, given that its hitter-friendly nature makes it fairly unappealing for free agents. They’ve also been hit hard by the injury bug this year, with eight hurlers currently on the injured list.
Abad has 403 major league appearances under his belt now, going back to the 2010 season. He has a 3.82 ERA in that time, along with a 19.4% strikeout rate, 8.4% walk rate and 41.6% ground ball rate. He’s a few years removed from that level of effectiveness, as he didn’t make it to the majors 2020 or 2022 and had a 5.60 ERA in the season between those two. However, his Triple-A numbers from earlier this year suggest that he can still get some outs. He’ll provide the club with an experienced bit of non-roster depth and could get called up again the next time they need a fresh arm.