Colorado Rockies: Hoffman’s spot on the line tonight as Lambert surges?
By Aaron Hurt
Wednesday night, the Colorado Rockies face off against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third game of the four game series. This game could hold huge ramifications especially for probable starter Jeff Hoffman.
It is no secret that the Colorado Rockies have been absolutely dreadful when it comes to their starting pitching staff through 50-plus games this season. They are last in the National League in ERA and in the bottom half of the league in most major statistical categories.
When starter Tyler Anderson went down for the season with a knee injury, the Rockies were put into a bind and faced the difficult task of determining who would replace him in the rotation. That decision fell onto the right arm of 26-year-old Jeff Hoffman who, in his lone spot start of the season, went 5 innings, giving up four earned runs in the loss against the Nationals in late April.
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In his first start since replacing Anderson, the results were just as bad. Hoffman, again, pitched 5 innings, giving up 5 earned runs including 2 home runs, as the Rockies battled back to walk-off the Orioles 8-6 last Friday night.
Tonight’s game could carry a lot of weight in determining the future of Jeff Hoffman and the rotation because down in Triple-A Albuquerque, the Rockies’ #2 prospect, Peter Lambert, is knocking on the door to make his Major League debut. Lambert has been solid for most of the season and in his last minor league start was lights out.
On May 24, Lambert threw 7 innings of shutout baseball with 10 strikeouts and no walks. He also scheduled to pitch Wednesday night in Albuquerque against Reno.
If Hoffman struggles or even has a so-so outing, the Rockies could be forced into a situation where they must decide whether or not to call up Lambert or stick with Hoffman. Fans have already been clamoring to see the young prospect, so imagine the outcry coming off back-to-back bad starts by Jeff Hoffman.
The Rockies already pulled the trigger early on top-prospect Brendan Rodgers because he forced the issue with his play. It will be interesting to watch what the Rockies do tonight’s game, especially if the results are far from satisfactory.