The Colorado Rockies are rolling right now, and even a blow to their bullpen couldn’t slow them down. Colorado has won its first three series of the truncated season, including taking two of three at home against San Diego over the weekend.
The Rockies now welcome in the San Francisco Giants, who have also been dealing with injuries to their pitching staff. The NL West rivals start a four-game series at Coors Field on Monday.
While San Francisco had not announced a starter for Monday, Colorado will give the ball to right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez. Because of a couple of well-placed off days, the Rockies have not needed to use a fifth starter, but with the schedule getting busier Gonzalez fills the spot.
He has not pitched yet this season but had a strong finish to 2019 and he got the nod over Jeff Hoffman.
Gonzalez is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in two career starts against the Giants, stats he would like to improve upon while emulating the rest of Colorado’s starters.
In the past two games, starters Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela have combined to give up one run in 12 innings. The Rockies’ rotation is 5-1 this season, and another good outing is important with the announcement that two back-end relievers are out.
Colorado placed closer Wade Davis on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder strain and transferred Scott Oberg to the 45-day IL due to blood clots in his right arm. Oberg, who was likely to serve as the closer before the season, had his 2019 season ended because of blood clots and probably is out for 2020.
“For lack of a better word, it’s a bummer,” manager Bud Black told reporters Sunday. “It’s going to be a while, if at all, for Scott this season. As we know, Scott has been a stalwart for us the last couple of years. I know that he was ready to take another step this 60-game season, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.”
Black said Davis, who blew a save Friday night, started feeling discomfort that night.
“Saturday morning, woke up bothersome,” Black said. “It was tight; it was inflamed. We had our medical staff test him (Saturday) morning, and that decision was made through the day through conversations with Wade and our doctors and (head athletic trainer) Keith (Dugger).”
San Francisco’s rotation took a hit when lefty Drew Smyly was placed on the 10-day IL with a left index finger strain suffered in Saturday’s win against Texas. The Giants recalled righty Andrew Triggs from their alternative training site in Sacramento.
San Francisco also made a change to its roster on Sunday, dealing speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton to the New York Mets for pitching prospect Jordan Humphreys.
“Our roster evolved, and we recognized the value of having extra bats and extra arms in the ‘pen,” manager Gabe Kapler said Sunday. “That just kind of made Hamilton a tougher fit, particularly with us going down to a 28-man roster size later this week. He’s done a really nice job in Sacramento for us, and we see the value to the Mets and the situation they have right now.”
Kapler could give the ball to veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto, who hasn’t gotten a decision in two starts this season, posting a 5.87 ERA with seven strikeouts and four walks in 7 2/3 innings pitched. He is 9-3 with a 2.67 ERA in 16 career starts vs. Colorado, including a 5-2 mark and 3.26 ERA in eight starts at Coors Field.
–Field Level Media