Prior to Saturday’s game in San Francisco, Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black provided an update on right-handed pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, 29, last appeared in an MLB game nearly three weeks ago but when he was slated to start for the Rockies on July 28 against the Los Angeles Angels on the road, Gonzalez was scratched due to a positive test for COVID-19. Rockies rookie reliever Lucas Gilbreath started in Gonzalez’s place and the Rockies went with a bullpen game.
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Chi Chi Gonzalez is close to returning to the Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black told the media, including Rox Pile, before their game against the San Francisco Giants that Chi Chi Gonzalez is back with the team. He returned to the team today after he appeared in an Arizona Complex League game on Friday.
Gonzalez started the game for the ACL Rockies and pitched 2 2/3 innings allowing three hits and a walk while striking out four batters and not allowing a run.
Black said that Gonzalez will have a side session with the Rockies on Sunday in San Francisco. Depending on how that goes, the Rockies will “look a bit closer” at when Gonzalez could possibly return.
When Gonzalez does return, Black said that he expects Gonzalez to be the Rockies’ long-reliever and not a starter, as long as the current starting rotation of Germán Márquez, Jon Gray, Austin Gomber, Kyle Freeland, and Antonio Senzatela are healthy. However, Black said that he does not envision Gonzalez taking on a set-up role, as long-reliever/set-up man Jhoulys Chacin has taken in recent weeks.
Since the start of July, Jhoulys Chacin has appeared in 10 games and he has only pitched in multiple innings twice (both outings were two-inning outings). Additionally, he has only appeared earlier than the seventh inning in one of the ten outings (August 5 v. Chicago Cubs).
From April through June, Chacin had eight multi-inning outings, including one start in a doubleheader against the Mets, and, in 16 appearances, he only pitched in the seventh inning or later six times, with two of those six appearances starting before the seventh inning.