Qualls is sporting a 5.64 ERA to go with only 10 strikeouts through 21.2 innings out of the bullpen this season. Qualls seems to be very hit or miss this season. In his last 14 appearances, 11 of them have been scoreless (although it usually came with a hit scattered somewhere in the appearance). However, when he does allow runs, they come in bunches. The three instances where he did give up runs, the right-hander gave up three runs in two of them and two runs in the other. Despite the measly strikeout rate, Qualls has shown some signs of being a solid reliever, but the terrible outings he mixes in every now and then are limiting his ability to garner a whole lot of high-leverage innings.
Qualls holds a 4.76 ERA and 1.06 WHIP through 16 appearances out of the Rockies bullpen this season. After a rough start to the season that saw his ERA balloon as high as 13.50, Qualls has settled down. Although his 4.76 ERA isn't very impressive, it's actually quite deceptive, as he's only allowed runs in one of 11 outings since April 15. That being said, his upside is severely limited with Miguel Castro back in the bullpen and Jason Motte (shoulder) close to returning, meaning some of his higher-leverage innings may be given back to them as long as they are effective.
Qualls will likely slot in as the Rockies' setup man now that Miguel Castro (shoulder) is on the disabled list, Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports. With Castro and Jason Motte out, Qualls is the logical choice to fill into the spot pitching before Jake McGee in the Colorado bullpen. The being said, manager Walt Weiss said that the role will evolve, so although Qualls will likely get the first crack at the job, Colorado may opt to go with the hot hand in the bullpen later during Castro's DL stint.
Qualls has given up four earned runs and seven hits in four innings to start the season. He has also stuck out two batters in that time. Qualls gave up runs in half of his appearances this season, and although two runs were unearned, he also served up two home runs already, which is somewhat troublesome. That being said, the right-hander is typically an extremely groundball-heavy pitcher, so the home run woes very well could lessen as the season goes along, which could also bring his ERA back down. Unfortunately, between the slow start and the rise of Miguel Castro into the setup role, Qualls hasn't been getting a lot of high-leverage innings, but those could come if the young Castro struggles or if injuries strike the integral parts of the Rockies bullpen.
Qualls has a strikeout and a walk with two earned runs allowed in three spring innings. Qualls had a rough outing in his first appearance of the spring, but he has held the opposition scoreless in the two appearances afterward. As long as he continues to pitch effectively, the veteran reliever projects to be used frequently in the late innings, possibly as a setup man for the winner of the closer's battle between Jason Motte and Jake McGee.