Jun 6, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Eddie Butler (31) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
It looks to be official now – Eddie Butler should start Wednesday in Milwaukee, and Christian Bergman will be the long relief option coming out of the bullpen.
Well, scratch what we hypothesized a mere seven hours ago based on earlier information. The Rockies have now announced that Christian Bergman will begin the year in the bullpen as the long reliever, and Eddie Butler is fighting for Wednesday’s rotation spot in game three of the Brewers series.
"The Rockies on Friday whittled down their choices for a fourth starting pitcher by reassigning Jon Gray to the minor leagues and moving Christian Bergman into the bullpen.Bergman will be on the Rockies opening-day roster when they start the season in Milwaukee on Monday, he said. But he will be there as a long-relief option."
That’s not too much of a surprise, as the Rockies probably should start the season with a four-man rotation considering the Thursday off-day between the Brewers’ and Cubs’ series.
No word from Groke in that piece whether the Rockies will use seven or eight men out of the bullpen, but considering the rest of the roster, it would be assumed the Rockies will have eight men in the bullpen for Monday:
Infielders (6):Troy Tulowitzki, D.J. LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado, Justin Morneau, Daniel Descalso, Rafael Ynoa
Outfielders (4): Carlos Gonzalez, Corey Dickerson, Drew Stubbs, Charlie Blackmon.
Catchers (3): Wilin Rosario, Nick Hundley, Michael McKenry.
Starting Pitchers (4): Kyle Kendrick, Jordan Lyles, Eddie Butler, Tyler Matzek.
Relief Pitchers (8): LaTroy Hawkins, Rafael Betancourt, John Axford, Christian Friedrich, Boone Logan, Brooks Brown, Christian Bergman, Adam Ottavino.
This will all presumably depend on how Butler fares in Saturday’s start against the Mariners; if he falters or is injured, obviously, Bergman would likely take his place in the third slot of the rotation and someone else would be added to the Opening Day roster (depending on what the Rockies feel they need, that could either be John Lannan, or short relievers Tommy Kahnle or Jairo Diaz).
The news this afternoon represents a heckuva turnaround for Butler, who left a game last week with a shoulder issue, but, he responded to long toss well enough during the week that Walt Weiss and the Rockies believe him to be ready to go, I guess.
We’ll see how he fares Saturday afternoon, but it looks, at least for the moment, that the Rockies Opening Day roster is more or less set and ready to go.