DENVER -- The Rockies are considering a run at a local product in their search to beef up the left-handed side of their bullpen -- Daniel Schlereth, who has pitched in the Majors for the D-backs and Tigers, MLB.com has learned.
Schlereth, 26, became a free agent when the Tigers non-tendered him after a year in which he was limited to six Major League appearances before going on the disabled list with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. Schlereth, who was a key part of the Tigers' bullpen in 2011 (3.49 ERA in 49 appearances, .209 average against), opted for rehab over surgery but did not appear in the Major Leagues after April 21.
Schlereth told MLB.com on Friday that he will soon start his offseason throwing program and should be healthy come Spring Training. Schlereth has thrown in the 94-mph range, but he dropped to 90 and below over his last year and a half in Detroit. He believes poor mechanics led to the problems.
The Schlereth name is familiar in Denver. His father, Mark Schlereth, was a key offensive lineman for the Denver Broncos' two Super Bowl-winning teams in the 1990s, and has been a popular member of the media, locally and on ESPN. Daniel Schlereth was a standout pitcher at Highlands Ranch (Colo.) High School and had a throwing session in front of Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd and club officials before opting to pitch at UNLV and the University of Arizona.
In four Major League seasons, Schlereth is 5-6 with a 4.35 ERA in 94 appearances for the D-backs (2009) and Tigers (2010-12). The Rockies have interest and are expected to carefully study the health reports.
The Rockies have a need for a left-hander in their bullpen because they traded Matt Reynolds to the D-backs for infielder Ryan Wheeler just before Thanksgiving. The Rockies have Rex Brothers as their late-game lefty, and they could sign or acquire someone such as Schlereth.
Another left-handed reliever who could interest the Rockies is Tom Gorzelanny, freshly non-tendered by the Nationals. A non-tendered starter who could be of interest to the Rockies is Jair Jurrjens, whom the Rockies attempted to acquire from the Braves last winter.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Jason Beck contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.