Colorado Rockies: Who gets the fifth spot in the rotation?

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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Tyler Anderson #44 of the Colorado Rockies pitches during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 19, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Tyler Anderson #44 of the Colorado Rockies pitches during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 19, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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After Colorado Rockies’ starter Tyler Anderson was shelled once again against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 3, the final straw was broken and he was demoted to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Since that demotion, the Colorado Rockies have ran with a four-man rotation due to the schedule and an unexpected day off from Mother Nature. Starting Monday, the Rockies have three more scheduled days off in the next eight that will let them continue playing an arm down. However, when the off days run out, who will Bud Black turn to when it is time add the fifth starter?

The Rockies have a sizable list of candidates for the job so here is a quick rundown.

Number one on the list is Jeff Hoffman. Hoffman has a ton of potential but it hasn’t translated over to the Majors. He was decent in his lone spot-start this season, going five innings and giving up four earned runs back in April but he has been so-so in the minors. It could be time to give him a real shot at locking down a spot in the rotation. Check out this exclusive interview our own Kevin Henry did with Hoffman after he was sent back to Triple-A following his April start.

Chad Bettis started the season in the rotation but was sent to the bullpen after a handful of horrible starts. He now has a new lease on life and has thrived in the ‘pen. The chances of him moving back is highly unlikely.

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Another arm in the bullpen is Yency Almonte. He has been solid in his long relief role since being call-up from Albuquerque. In six appearances, he’s thrown eight innings and allowed three earned runs. He will likely stay in that role as the bullpen needs as much help as it can get at the moment.

If the Rockies think he is ready, they might go with their top pitching prospect, Peter Lambert. He has been solid in Albuquerque early on and, in the 22-year-old’s last start, he threw seven innings of three-hit ball and surrendered one run. If he can repeat that performance in his next couple of starts, he could get the nod.

A surprise candidate on the list might be the guy who lost the job in the first place: Tyler Anderson. Anderson should see two, maybe three starts in the Albuquerque before it is time for a call-up. It is doubtful that he could work out his problems in that short of time but with his experience, don’t count him out. However, there has now been some interesting news come out of Rockies camp regarding Anderson and we covered that here.

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Bud Black and the Rockies won’t have to make a decision until at least May 21, when they are scheduled to play 13 straight games. That allows plenty of time for pitchers to make their case.  Keep an eye on the Albuquerque Isotopes’ box scores in the coming week.

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