Esmil Antonio Rogers
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 150 lb.
Esmil Rogers was signed by scouts Rolando Fernandez, Felix Feliz and Frank Roa for the Colorado Rockies in 2003. He made his pro debut as a shortstop that summer with the DSL Rockies. After three seasons as a shortstop in the DSL, he came stateside in 2006 as a starting pitcher with the Casper Rockies.
Rogers first reached the major leagues with the Rockies in 2009, getting a no-decision in a single September start for the team. He pitched for the Rockies for the next thre seasons, spending time in the minor leagues as well, but had very high ERAs each year. In 2010, he went 2-3, 6.13 in 28 games, then in 2011, had a 7.05 ERA in 18 games, during which he managed somehow to go 6-6 as a starter. He started 2012 with the Rockies, but his ERA climbed for the straight year, this time to 8.06 in 23 relief outings. Not wanting to see whether to figure could quite reach to the height of Pike's Peak, the Rockies sold him to the Cleveland Indians on June 12th. He pitched 44 times for the Indians, going 3-1, 3.06, striking out 54 strikeouts in 53 innings, against only 12 walks. Having restored his value to a certain extent, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on November 3rd, in return for Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes.
Rogers started the 2013 season in the Blue Jays' bullpen, but was not pitching particularly well, as his record stood at 1-2, 5.16 after 21 games on May 21st. After a good outing in long relief on May 24th, when he gave up no runs to the Baltimore Orioles in 3 innings, he was pressed into work as an emergency starter on May 29th, with Brandon Morrow unavailable. He pitched only 3 1/3 innings, but did not give up any runs, and manager John Gibbons soon decided to give him a shot at starting regularly. It seemed to be exactly what Esmil needed, as he shined in the new role, giving up only 4 runs in his first 21 innings in the role, and the Blue Jays winning his first four starts. With a win over the Colorado Rockies on June 18th, his record was now 3-2, 3.14. However, he was not able to sustain this level of success the rest of the year, and ended up going 5-9, 4.77 in 44 games, 20 of which were starts. He logged 137 2/3 innings, a career high, and struck out 96 but also gave up 21 homers. Back with the Jays at the start of 2014, he was used exclusively out of the bullpen, and logged 16 appearances in April and May, all in relief. The results were poor however, with no record and a 6.97 ERA, 5 gopher balls among the 28 hits he allowed in 20 2/3 innings. His K/W ratio was very good at 21/7, indicating he still had superior stuff, but the Blue Jays lost patience with his lack of consistency and designated him for assignment on May 23rd. They were able to send him to the minor leagues, but after going 2-2, 3.14 in 12 games for the Buffalo Bisons, he was placed on waivers and was claimed by the New York Yankees on July 31st.
Rogers pitched 18 times for the Yankees over the last two months of 2014, all but once in relief, with a record of 2-0 and a 4.68 ERA in 25 innings. He then made the team as a long reliever out of spring training in 2015. On April 10th, he was the loser in the longest game in the history of New Yankee Stadium. Facing the Boston Red Sox, he came in to pitch with one out in the 15th inning and the score tied at 3-3. He was his team's 8th pitcher of the night, and was basically told that there was no one left to relieve him, so it was up to him to win or lose. He gave up a solo homer to David Ortiz in the 16th, but Mark Teixeira hit one back to prolong the game; he gave up another run in the top of the 18th, but the Yankees once again came back. Finally, when Mookie Betts drove in Xander Bogaerts with a sacrifice fly on the top of the 19th, the Yankees were out of comebacks, and he was charged with the 6-5 loss, having pitched 4 2/3 innings. The game ended at 2:13 AM.