Jeff Manship was promoted today from Triple-A Sky Sox to take the roster spot of Tyler Chatwood (to the DL) and start tonight for the Colorado Rockies in New York. Manship has donned a big league uniform many times in the past, but tonight he’ll get to put on his Rockies digs for the first time.
The name might be new to Rockies fans, but Manship was once a big-time major league prospect and has pitched at the highest of levels in the college ranks. A San Antonio, TX native, Manship was a projected first-round pick out of high school, but he was adamant about attending college and slipped to a token 50th round pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Obviously Manship chose Notre Dame, where his highly touted curveball (rated by some as the best curveball to come out of the high school ranks in 20 years) was expected to dominate Big East opponents.
Unfortunately, Manship was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery when he ran into arm problems, and missed his entire freshman year in 2004. He bounced back in 2005 with a solid campaign as a part-time starter, and by 2006, he was a weekend starter for the very impressive Notre Dame staff which yielded nine future MLB draft picks, including Jeff Samardzija, David Phelps and Kyle Weiland.
Manship won the Big East Conference Pitcher of the year honors that year, and was the 14th round pick of the Minnesota twins in the 2006 MLB Draft.
Manship rose through the Twins’ minor league system and made his debut on Aug, 15, 2009 out of the bullpen with a scoreless inning against the Cleveland Indians. The next three years, Manship bounced between Triple-A Rochester and the big leagues, gaining substantial experience both in the Twins’ starting rotation and bullpen. After the 2012 season, he was released and within a month signed with the Rockies.
This season, all with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Manship has managed a 4.85 ERA in 24 games, 17 of those being starts. Manship has been hot his last five starts with the Sky Sox, getting into the seventh inning or later in four of them and compiling a 3.74 ERA with 28 K’s and six BB’s in 33.2 innings pitched. We’ll see if he can keep it up in his Rockies debut tonight vs. the New York Mets.