Kyle Freeland and Brendan Rodgers are one step closer to making their season debuts for the Rockies.
Freeland (shoulder strain) and Rodgers (hamstring strain) made rehab starts for Triple-A Albuquerque this weekend. Both of their returns couldn’t come soon enough for the Rockies, who are dealing with an ever-expanding list of injuries.
When Freeland bent over in pain after throwing a curveball in a spring training game in March, the Rockies, and Freeland, feared the worst. But after consulting with multiple doctors, the diagnosis came back much better than any of them hoped. It was just a shoulder strain, something that could be rehabbed in a matter of months, instead of a season-ending injury.
Freeland has been working his way back, throwing two simulated games before joining the Isotopes. On Saturday, he threw four innings, allowing one run and two hits. He threw 66 pitches, and will make his next start Thursday. Rockies manager Bud Black said he looked “Kyle like” and that his velocity was where it needed to be. He felt good the day after, and his pitch count will increase for his next start.
If all goes well, he could join the Rockies after that. He’ll likely be slotted in the second spot in the rotation behind Germán Márquez. Either Chi Chi Gonzalez or Austin Gomber — who both pitched well in their last starts — will be moved to the bullpen to be used as long relievers.
Rodgers has played two games at second base for the Isotopes, going 3 for 6 at the plate. He was able to run the bases without hesitation and made solid plays on defense. The Rockies will take him back as soon as he is ready, as Chris Owings (thumb), CJ Cron (lower back), Matt Adams (shin) and Charlie Blackmon (mild groin strain) are all dealing with injuries. The Rockies played the series against the Reds with only three bench players, one of which was Blackmon.
Ben Bowden was added to the 10-day injured list Sunday morning with a shoulder strain. He left the game in the 11th inning Saturday with a trainer, and Black said the issue is believed to be in the lat area of his throwing shoulder. Lucas Gilbreath was called up to replace him.