College Roundup

Howard returns to Colorado for 1st MLB stint this season, 4th overall

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Sam Howard is back in the major leagues, and he's hoping to be a part of another run to the postseason for the Colorado Rockies.

The Cartersville High graduate earned his fourth trip to the majors, following three separate stints last season. He was part of a series of roster moves Sunday and took the place of Mark Reynolds on the club's 40-man roster.

Howard joined the Rockies on their current road trip. After Monday night's game at Washington was postponed due to inclement weather, his return to an MLB mound won't come until at least tonight.

He made his MLB debut June 10, 2018, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The left-handed reliever returned to the Rockies for the final two games of the season's first half but never appeared. Upon returning to Colorado from the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes when roster expanded in September, Howard saw his next MLB action on Sept. 10 against Arizona.

In total, the Georgia Southern product made four one-inning outings. Howard allowed one earned run on five hits and three walks. He had one strikeout.

Howard didn't make the postseason roster, but he got to celebrate as Colorado secured a wild card berth. He'll hope for a similar outcome this season with the National League West Division race almost settled, as the Los Angeles Dodgers have raced to a huge lead.

Elsewhere, Elliott Anderson and Luke Schiltz didn't allow an earned run for their respective minor league affiliates, and Connor Justus enjoyed an offensive rejuvenation for his team.


PRO BASEBALL

Elliott Anderson (Burlington Royals, Kansas City Royals organization; Cartersville) — Anderson continued the stellar start to his professional career with two more scoreless relief appearances, his first pro win and his second career save. He entered in the sixth inning at home against the Danville Braves last Monday with two runners on base and the Royals leading 5-2. Anderson completed the longest stint of his pro career with 2 1/3 innings. He kept Danville off the scoreboard, retired seven of eight batters faced (hit batsman) and struck out four. Burlington won the game, 10-2. Last Thursday Anderson allowed one hit, but the lefty retired the side with a pair of strikeouts in a scoreless ninth-inning appearance to earn a save as the Royals beat the visiting Bluefield Blue Jays, 4-1. Since joining the professional ranks, Anderson is 1-0 with two saves in eight relief appearances. He has not allowed an earned run and has 12 strikeouts with only two walks and one hit batsman. Opponents are hitting a mere .171 against the southpaw and his WHIP stands at 0.77. Burlington (17-15) is in second place in the Appalachian League East Division. The Royals trail the Pulaski Yankees by 3 1/2 games.

Sam Howard (Colorado Rockies; Cartersville) — After making 36 relief appearances this season at Triple-A Albuquerque, Howard was added to the Colorado Rockies 40-man roster Sunday morning. The Rockies also recalled pitcher Jeff Hoffman from the Isotopes. The roster shakeup comes as Colorado is mired in a seven-game losing streak and has suffered back-to-back series sweeps to the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees. To make room, the Rockies optioned starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela to Triple-A and designated Mark Reynolds for assignment. Howard is expected to add bullpen depth after posting a 3.83 ERA and 1.52 WHIP across 44 2/3 innings of relief this season in the Pacific Coast League. This is Howard’s first appearance of 2019 on the Rockies roster after seeing action in four games last season. Three of those appearances came in September after roster expansion, and the 26-year-old southpaw has never thrown more than an inning in any appearance with the Rockies. He has a 2.25 ERA at the MLB level with a 2.00 WHIP. Howard was non-tendered by the Rockies last December, but the Georgia Southern product re-signed with the Colorado organization on a minor league contract in January of this year. He was eventually assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque where he has a 2-1 record and has made 36 relief appearances, accumulating 57 strikeouts. Since May 27, Howard has allowed only two earned runs in 19 appearances across 19 2/3 innings. He has issued only four walks  (two intentional) during that stretch with 27 strikeouts. His ERA over his last 19 games has dropped from 6.12 to 3.83. Colorado (47-52) is currently fourth in the National League’s West Division. The Rockies trail the division-leading Dodgers by 18 games, but they are only 4 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.

Connor Justus (Mobile BayBears, L.A. Angels organization; Cartersville) — Justus hit safely in four of five games this past week, including back-to-back multi-hit games at the Tennessee Smokies and at home against the Biloxi Shuckers. He also hit his second home run of the year Sunday in a home, extra-innings loss to Biloxi. For the week, Justus was 7-for-19 (.368) with a pair of doubles, a walk and four runs scored. His season batting average through 83 games now stands at .196 with 19 RBIs and an OBP of .303 in 245 official at-bats. Defensively, the 24-year-old carries a .946 fielding average in 296 total chances. That includes 49 games at shortstop, 19 at third base and 14 at second base. He has been a part of 25 of the BayBears’ double plays. Mobile (13-16 second half) trails Southern League second-half South Division leader Biloxi by six games. The BayBears are 40-57 in 2019.

Luke Schiltz (AZL Rangers, Texas Rangers organization; Cartersville native) — Schiltz made a pair of scoreless appearances last week, covering a total of five innings pitched. He entered in the second inning and fired three scoreless frames at the AZL Athletics Gold last Monday in an eventual extra-innings loss. In that appearance, Schiltz scattered a pair of hits. He retired nine of 11 batters faced with five groundouts, including a double play, and three flyouts. In Saturday’s 7-5 home loss to the AZL Royals, he allowed only one hit over the final two innings. Schiltz has now made four relief appearances and worked seven innings with a 1.29 ERA. He has one walk, one hit batsman and one strikeout. His WHIP stands at 0.71. Opponents have a .174 batting average against him. The Rangers (19-9) are in first place in the Arizona League’s West Division with a 1 1/2 game lead over the AZL Royals.

Anthony Seigler (Charleston RiverDogs, N.Y. Yankees organization; Cartersville) — Seigler had only one hit this past week in five games played. The sixth-inning single came last Monday in the RiverDogs’ 3-2 win in at the Augusta Greenjackets. For the season, Seigler has a .175 batting average in 97 official at-bats across 30 games. He has three doubles, 20 walks and six RBIs with one stolen base for a .328 OBP. Defensively, the 20-year-old catcher has a .984 fielding percentage in 183 total chances. He has thrown out eight of 23 stolen base attempts. Charleston (13-18 second half) has slipped to the cellar of the second half SAL Southern Division standings. The RiverDogs trail Augusta by four games in the second half and are now 50-51 for the 2019 season.

Charles Wilson of Bartow Sports Zone contributed to this report.