Colorado Rockies: Who could start on Friday night?
On July 1st, the Colorado Rockies’ Chad Bettis was pulled from his start in the 3rd inning against the Dodgers due to concerns of a potential blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand.
Since then, the Rockies have gotten by with the use of a four-man rotation due to multiple days off on the schedule in the past week. Now, they no longer have that luxury and must make a decision as to who will get the start on Friday night opposite James Paxton and the Seattle Mariners. Bud Black has a few options:
The simple solution is to give the spot back to Bettis. He is eligible to come off the 10-day DL on July 12th, but is the blister completely healed and if so, do the Rockies want to start him considering his recent struggles? In his last 7 starts, Bettis is 1-0 with an 8.15 ERA in 35.1 innings with 32 earned runs and 16 walks. Do they trust throwing him back out there with these numbers?
Is it time to bring Gray back up from the minors? He has only started two games since the Rockies sent him down to AAA Albuquerque to allow him to clear his head. He has continued to struggle finding consistency in his two starts in the minors pitching a total of 10.2 innings while giving up 4 earned runs including a home run, 4 walks and striking out 13. I believe the Rockies want to give him a few more starts in the minors before pulling the trigger.
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The Rockies have two guys to choose from if they decide to go this route: Yency Almonte or Jeff Hoffman. Almonte is already up with the club so they wouldn’t have to make any corresponding roster moves but he hasn’t made an appearance since being recalled on June 24th. He also hasn’t started a game in almost a month.
Hoffman, who was sent down on June 24th, has started two games since his demotion to stretch his arm out. He is probably the more likely candidate out of the two to start Friday if they decide on a spot starter.
Stick with Four-Man Rotation
Moving up the rotation a day could be a possibility with the All-Star break is looming. Considering how well the starting staff has pitched as of late, GM Jeff Bridich and Bud Black could hold off on making a decision on the fifth starter until after the break. And to make things even more interesting, the Rockies only play five games in the seven days following the break, so they could slow play their final decision until the end of the month.
Make a Trade
This is practically impossible considering the time frame to make such a move. I’m throwing it out there because if the Rockies are going to be buyers at the trade deadline, an established starter might be priority number one for Jeff Bridich. I think he will eventually make such a move but not before Friday.
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With a few days left, a decision will be made soon if it hasn’t been already privately. It may only be one game but as the playoff race tightens, every little move will carry important weight as the Rockies try to make another Rocktober.