12/21/2007 8:04 PM ET
Rockies sign five Minor League free agents
Bowie, George, Kata, Koronka, Rose invited to Major League Spring Training
DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies announced today that the club has agreed to terms with five players to minor league contracts with non-roster invitations to major league spring training. Three of the five players are pitchers, all of whom are left-handed, and all five of the signed players have major league experience. Below is a list of the five players, broken down by positions.
Pitchers (3): Micah Bowie (LHP), Chris George (LHP), John Koronka (LHP); Infielders (1): Matt Kata; Catchers (1): Mike Rose.
Bowie, 33, went 4-3 with a 4.55 ERA (29 er, 57.1 ip) for the Nationals in 2007. Last season he appeared in a career-high 30 games, including eight starts, and set career highs in innings pitched and wins. The left-hander earned all four wins as a starter. Bowie owns an 8-12 record with a 6.01 ERA (99 er, 148.1 ip) in parts of five major league seasons since 1999.
The 28-year-old George spent all of last season at Triple-A Albuquerque (Marlins) and finished 7-11 with a 5.56 ERA (86 er, 139.1 ip) in 26 starts. Although he has not appeared in the majors since 2004, George has four seasons of big league experience as a member of the Royals from 2001-04. In 47 major league games (44 starts), he is 14-20 with a 6.48 ERA (171 er, 237.1 ip). George was selected 31st overall (sandwich pick between the first and second rounds) by the Royals in the 1998 June draft. When he made his major league debut on July 26, 2001, he was the 11th-youngest pitcher in Royals history to start a big league game (21 years, 10 months, 10 days).
Kata, 29, split last season between Texas and Pittsburgh and finished with a .222 average (35-for-158), 3 home runs and 16 RBI in a combined 78 games. The utility man played five different positions in 2007, including second base, third base and shortstop, as well as both corner outfield positions. Kata owns a .242 (156-for-645) career average with 12 home runs and 58 RBI in 238 games with Arizona (2003-05), Philadelphia (2005), Texas (2007) and Pittsburgh (2007).
Koronka, 27, has spent the past two seasons with the Rangers. He made only two starts with Texas in 2007, following a 2006 campaign in which he went 7-7 with a 5.69 ERA (79 er, 125.0 ip) in 23 games (all starts). In 2006, he ranked 2nd among A.L. rookies in starts and innings pitched, T-4th in wins and 10th in strikeouts (61). The 6-foot-1 left-hander is 8-11 in the majors with a lifetime ERA of 6.02 (101 er, 151.0 ip) in 29 major league games (28 starts).
Rose, a 31-year-old catcher, posted a .262 average (76-for-290) with 7 home runs and 36 RBI in 88 games at Triple-A Buffalo (Indians) in 2007. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2006 with the Cardinals. In 2005, he hit .209 (9-for-43) in a career-high 15 games with the Dodgers. In 27 major league games with Oakland (2004), Los Angeles-NL (2005) and St. Louis (2006), Rose owns a .204 (11-for-54) average with two doubles and a home run.