The Colorado Rockies are still trying to figure out who will fill out the rest of their rotation for 2017. It appears that, because of injury, one candidate to help out the rotation may not be ready for Opening Day.
Chris Rusin has been battling an oblique injury since early in March and it doesn’t appear that the injury is healing quickly. On Sunday, it was reported that Rusin was still seven to 10 days away from starting a throwing regimen. On Monday, Nick Groke of The Denver Post tweeted out that Colorado manager Bud Black said Rusin’s availability for starting April in the rotation was “in doubt” because of the injury.
Rusin’s injury comes at a bad time for the Rockies. The club is not only trying to find a fifth starter but also another pitcher who will assume the spot vacated by Chad Bettis, who announced last week that his cancer had returned and he would be undergoing chemotherapy.
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As we pointed out in an article last week, Rusin would bring experience to the rotation, not only in terms of his age (30) but also the number of career Major League starts he has made (49). However, he struggled last season in a starting role for the Rockies. In seven 2016 starts, Rusin posted a 1-4 mark with a 5.08 ERA. In 22 relief appearances, the southpaw logged a 2-1 record and 2.58 ERA.
Early in Rockies camp, it appeared that Rusin might have the inside edge on grabbing the fifth starter spot. However, the injury has kept him sidelined since a March 3 relief appearance against the Cleveland Indians. In that outing, he surrendered one run and three hits in 1.1 innings of work.
That was Rusin’s second appearance of the spring. He opened his 2017 time in Scottsdale by starting the February 26 game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He allowed just one hit in two scoreless innings.
Rusin is one of the candidates identified to take a turn in the Colorado rotation this season. Who are the others? Check out our in-depth look here.