With 18 games left in the 2019 season, the Colorado Rockies still have three big question marks regarding a trio of key players and their potential returns from injury.
Starting pitchers Kyle Freeland and German Marquez along with outfielder David Dahl still have the potential to return this season. However, with each working their way back from respective injuries and the Colorado Rockies season coming to a conclusion sooner than many thought when the season began, the clock on their returns is certainly ticking.
All three players were in the clubhouse prior to the Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals opening a three-game series at Coors Field on Tuesday night. Dahl, however, was perhaps in the clubhouse the shortest amount of time, stopping in to change before a workout.
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The fact that the All-Star outfielder is continuing to work toward a comeback is important to note. Out since August 2 with a high ankle sprain suffered during a game against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field, Dahl had originally hoped to be back with the Rockies in early September. However, Colorado manager Bud Black couldn’t give much of an update on Dahl’s status in his Tuesday pregame gathering with the media.
"“Getting better. No update,” Black said of Dahl. “He continues to do his work in the training room but no timetable for his return. We’re starting to run out of time.”"
Slashing .302/.353/.524 in 100 games this season, Dahl has been taking swings in the batting cage and doing some light jogging. However, it seems as if his return is highly questionable this season.
Chances of Dahl returning this season? We put them at 20 percent.
The same limbo seems to be the case for Marquez, who was added to the 10-day injured list on August 26 (retroactive to August 23) with right arm inflammation.
"“No update on German. He’s feeling better but no timetable. As you know, we’re running out of time,” Black said."
With a 12-5 mark and 4.76 ERA and armed with a contract extension signed in the early stages of the season, Marquez is a cornerstone of the Colorado rotation moving forward. To see him rushed back in a lost 2019 campaign, on the surface, makes little sense for the 24-year-old right-hander.
Chances of Marquez returning this season? Let’s say 5 percent … and that’s probably high.
Regarding Freeland, we know that he threw a bullpen session when the Rockies were in San Diego over the weekend to face the Padres. We also know that there is perhaps no Colorado player who is itching to get back on the field more than Freeland, who is anxious to put a positive end on what has been a miserable season.
Currently with a 3-11 mark and 6.98 ERA in 20 starts, the 26-year-old southpaw was placed on the injured list on August 22 (retroactive to August 21) with a left groin strain. The Opening Day starter has endured a demotion to Triple-A and would love nothing more than to have one or two strong starts to finish the 2019 campaign and head into the offseason on a better note.
Freeland reportedly will throw another bullpen session on Wednesday and has repeatedly said he is working hard behind the scenes to get back into the rotation. Wednesday’s bullpen will likely determine if Freeland returns or not this season.
Chances of Freeland returning this season? We’ll go with 50-50 right now.