Prior to Wednesday’s series finale, Rockies manager Bud Black announced that starting pitcher Jon Gray was done for the season after soreness in his right shoulder didn’t dissipate as hoped.
In eight starts this season, the former first-round draft pick struck out just 22 in 39.0 innings of work. While it was a smaller sample size, Gray’s 6.69 ERA will linger as a career-high in what will go down as a disappointing season for the right-hander, who has been out of the Rockies rotation since September 2.
With Black’s announcement, Colorado’s starting pitching depth took a hit. With just 12 games left in the regular season, the rotation will be juggled and could become an evolving list after Colorado’s remaining “top three.”
Here’s what Black had to say on Wednesday.
"“We feel really good about Kyle (Freeland), German (Marquez), and Antonio (Senzatela). There are two more spots there in the rotation. (Ryan) Castellani is going to pitch Friday. We’ll announce a Saturday starter here soon enough. Chi Chi (Gonzalez) is in the mix. We’ve just got to try and win every game with whatever help we have out in the bullpen.”"
Thoughts: The Rockies are done with their off days in 2020. After a four-game set against the Dodgers this weekend in Denver, Colorado immediately hits the road to San Francisco for four games and then heads to Phoenix to complete the regular season against the Diamondbacks.
With no off days and limited options, Black will have to hope that Freeland, Marquez, and Senzatela can not only provide a quality start but additional length as well. Will Gonzalez start or could the Rockies have a “bullpen game” using him and Jeff Hoffman? If the starters can log more innings, anything is possible. However, a short start could short-circuit plans and force the Rockies into using pitchers in situations where they haven’t had success this season.
Senzatela’s complete game on Tuesday night was needed, but the Rockies can’t count on that every night.
Gray may not have had the best season in 2020, but having him out of the rotation certainly puts additional stress on the other members moving forward.