Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black provided the media, including Rox Pile, with a number of injury updates on his players on the injured list before Thursday’s series opener with the Cincinnati Reds.
Kyle Freeland (strained shoulder) is one of them that has frequent updates, as we provided an update on him on Tuesday but Black provided more information on his upcoming start with Triple-A Albuquerque.
He will start on Saturday for the Isotopes while the team is in El Paso (where the Padres Triple-A team is located) and Black said on Thursday that Freeland will throw “60 to 70 pitches” in the start. He will also have at least one more start with Albuquerque next Thursday (one week from today) before being activated off the IL.
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Bud Black elaborated more on infielder Brendan Rodgers’ (strained hamstring) recovery as he will start at second base for Albuquerque on Friday. However, there is no set timetable and not a certain amount of games or at-bats that the Rockies are hoping to hit for Rodgers to return.
First baseman C.J. Cron and relief pitcher Carlos Estevez are “getting close to returning more intensity in their work.” according to Bud Black. Black said that Cron would play catch, “move around a little bit” on the field, take infield grounders on Thursday but he’s “probably not ready” to hit in the batting cage yet. However, Black said that Cron will hopefully hit in the cage “in a day or two.”
Carlos Estevez (strained finger) will play catch “with intensity” today. He played catch without any issues on Wednesday so if all goes well today, he will have a bullpen session “as early as tomorrow” or on Saturday.
Utilityman Chris Owings (sprained thumb) is the furthest away from returning of the five players as he is still “a little bit of a ways away” from returning but the last x-ray showed that “there is healing going on.”
And the Rockies also need a spot starter this weekend
The Rockies will also need another starter on Saturday. Originally, Antonio Senzatela would have started the game because he was supposed to start on Monday.
However, with Monday’s game being postponed for weather, he was pushed back to Tuesday. With him just returning from the injured list and the Rockies pitching staff being taxed a bit more than usual on Wednesday for the doubleheader, the team has decided to have a spot starter for Saturday.
Bud Black said that Jhoulys Chacin is a candidate to start the game or the Rockies could call up someone from the minor leagues, with Ryan Castellani and Jose Mujica being the two specific names mentioned as possible starters.