The Rockies are selecting the contract of right-hander Karl Kauffmann, tweets Danielle Allentuck of the Denver Gazette. Riley Pint is being optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque to open a spot on the active roster. Colorado will need to make a corresponding 40-man roster transaction, though that’s likely to be accomplished by transferring Germán Márquez from the 15-day to the 60-day injured list.
It’s an expected move. Thomas Harding of MLB.com noted last night that Kauffmann had been scratched from his scheduled Triple-A start and was in consideration for a major league promotion. Now that it’s officially coming to fruition, he’ll be in line for his major league debut Friday night against the Rangers.
Kauffmann, 25, entered pro ball as a supplemental second round draftee in 2019. The Michigan product appeared among Baseball America’s rankings of Colorado’s top 30 minor league talents each season from 2020-22. He performed reasonably well over 15 starts with Double-A Hartford last season, posting a 4.06 ERA while striking out just under 26% of opponents. A promotion to Triple-A didn’t go as hoped, as Kauffmann surrendered more than six earned runs per nine in a nightmarish Pacific Coast League environment for pitchers.
The Rox left Kauffmann unprotected in last offseason’s Rule 5 draft. He was unselected and remained in the organization. Colorado sent him back to Albuquerque. He’s made eight starts there but been tagged for a 7.78 ERA with a modest 14.9% strikeout rate. The Michigan product has cut his walk percentage to a personal-low 6.9% clip, though, and he’s a generally experienced upper minors pitcher for an organization lacking in rotation depth.
Márquez’s Tommy John surgery and the recent elbow sprain for Antonio Senzatela have left the Rox looking for innings. Colorado brought in veteran righty Chase Anderson off waivers from the Rays while pushing Connor Seabold from the bullpen to the starting five. Kauffmann will get at least one look behind that duo and top two starters Kyle Freeland and Austin Gomber.