Just when the Colorado Rockies seemed to have their rotation set for the rest of the regular season, some big changes happened on Monday morning that had a domino effect for the next seven days.
When Tyler Anderson was scratched from his Monday night start against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field, the entire Colorado Rockies rotation shifted … and there are still question marks about how it will further shift as the week moves along.
A sore shoulder sidelined Anderson on Monday night, pushing Jon Gray up a day and giving him the start in the opener against the Phillies.
"“A couple of days ago I was getting ready to throw my bullpen and my shoulder felt really stiff,” Anderson told Rox Pile and other media members. “I couldn’t get going, get loose or get much behind the ball. We waited to yesterday to see how it felt and some shoulder inflammation set in. We decided to do what’s best for the team.”"
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In Gray’s place on Tuesday night, Colorado manager Bud Black said that Chad Bettis will likely return to a starting role. It will mark the first start for Bettis since August 12 and will likely mean a short outing, whether Bettis is clicking on all cylinders or not.
That means Kyle Freeland will likely draw the start on Friday when the Washington Nationals comes to town to open a three-game series … but what happens after that?
If Anderson’s shoulder responds to rest and treatment, he could pitch again on Saturday or Sunday. However, that still leaves one game for the Rockies to figure out from a starter perspective.
Black was optimistic that Anderson could return this weekend.
"“Do I think he’s going to pitch this year again? Yes,” Black told Rox Pile and other media members. “Medically, it’s positive from both Tyler and the trainer. We’re optimistic that he’ll pitch again.”"
And if Anderson’s shoulder doesn’t respond? That means the Rockies have a pair of weekend games to piece together on the mound.
Certainly Gray is in line to pitch one of those games … depending on how he does on Monday night. Unless the Monday start is a complete disaster, Gray will likely draw another start this weekend. The Rockies are needing arms who can pitch for multiple innings.
Two factors will determine how the weekend pitching matchups shake out. First, can Anderson return to the mound? Second, can Gray return to the form we saw in late July and early August where he allowed just five earned runs over 29.2 innings? If the answer is yes to both, Colorado fans can breathe a bit easier. If one or both doesn’t happen, it makes the weekend even more interesting … and stressful.