Before today’s game against the New York Mets, Rockies manager Bud Black talked to media and he talked about the rookies on his pitching staff.
Bud Black talked to the media before today’s game, including our own Kevin Henry, about various different things but one of a particularly interesting nature is the pitching staff. He discussed how they will work around the restraints of pitcher’s inning limits with most of the starting pitching staff being rookies.
"We are not past protecting innings. I think that we are to the point that we’re feeling good about all [of] these guys, physically. We feel pretty good about it. If you look at [German] Marquez, last year, he had [around 170] innings, [Kyle] Freeland was [around] 160 innings, [Jeff] Hoffman had 150 [innings] last year. [Antonio] Senzatela has had a nice window of a month plus of not a whole lot of work [to limit his innings because he was injured last season and only had around 35 innings of work so] as we go down the stretch here…we’re going to continue to watch them for sure. As far as monitoring innings and pushing guys back [to give a few more days of rest], that will be on a case by case, pitcher by pitcher [basis]. Once [Chad] Bettis gets back, some guys will have to be moved out of the rotation…Not counting Tyler Anderson because [he] is a ways away [from returning from knee surgery], we will have seven guys that we look at as starting pitchers and we’ll have to look at it that way to see what guys [we] may want to start and who stays in or who might go to the [bull]pen."
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rockies are the only team in baseball history to have four rookies (Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, German Marquez, and Jeff Hoffman) to have more than five wins, individually, before the All-Star break.
Combined, entering Thursday, they have got the win in 36 of the Rockies’ 61 wins, or 59 percent.
Combined, the four rookies are 36-18 with an ERA of 4.38 in 399 innings pitched. They have started 67 of the Rockies’ 108 games, which is 62 percent of the Rockies starts.
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Career high in innings for the rookies
For Senzetela, his career high for innings in a season was in 2015 in Advanced-A Modesto with 154 innings. Combined between Triple-A Albuquerque and the majors this season, he is at 108 2/3 but, as mentioned, he did not pitch much last season due to injury.
Freeland’s career high was last year split between Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque when he pitched in 162 innings but before that, he had never pitched more than 46 2/3 innings in the minor leagues. In 2017, Freeland is at 121 1/3 innings pitched.
Marquez’s career high was also last season as between Double-A, Triple-A, and the majors, he combined for 166 2/3 innings pitched. Combined between Triple-A and the majors this season, Marquez is at 107 innings.
For Hoffman, his career high is 150 innings that was combined between Triple-A and the majors last season. For this season, combined between Triple-A and the majors again, he is at 119 1/3 innings.
For now, Black has Antonio Senzatela in the bullpen for now with Jeff Hoffman, German Marquez, and Kyle Freeland in the starting rotation. Senzatela was excellent out of the bullpen last night as he went three innings while only allowing one hit, no runs, no walks, and he struck out four. However, he won’t be in the bullpen forever and within the next few weeks, don’t be surprised to see some mixing and matching between the rotation and the bullpen…and maybe even a short stint in the minor leagues.