08 Sep

rocky road

Yes, it’s been quite a summer for Ryan Rolison, the former Ole Miss star. And not in a good sense. The left-hander, a hot prospect in Colorado’s minor league system, had earned a promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque back in May. The big leagues were in sight. But in June, just as he was settling in with the Isotopes, he suffered appendicitis and had to have his appendix removed. Later that month, working out while still on the injured list, he broke his left hand. He finally returned to Albuquerque’s rotation on Aug. 27. In three starts, he has allowed 15 runs in 12 2/3 innings. On Tuesday night, at Oklahoma City, opposed by rehabbing big leaguer Clayton Kershaw, Rolison cruised through two innings, battled through a scoreless third, but hit a wall in the fourth. He was pulled after allowing three runs, leaving with the bases loaded. Reliever Jake Bird then gave up a grand slam. Rolison’s line: 3 2/3 IP, 7 hits, 2 walks, an HBP, 6 runs and 4 strikeouts. For the season at Albuquerque, he is 1-2, 7.56 ERA. Rated the Rockies’ No. 3 prospect, the former first-round pick stood a good chance of making his MLB debut in 2021 before the summer setbacks. That’ll probably have to wait until year. He certainly seems to have the tools for success. “Rolison needs to continue to trust his stuff and be aggressive with it,” says the MLB Pipeline scouting report. P.S. Ex-Southern Miss star Matt Wallner, now at High-A Cedar Rapids in Minnesota’s chain, hit a grand slam Tuesday as part of a three-hit night. Wallner, the 39th overall pick in 2019 and the Twins’ No. 14 prospect, is batting .260 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound right fielder slumped in August after a strong July but may be poised for a finishing kick.

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