Free­land goes on DL; Rock­ies look to re­place him in ro­ta­tion

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Pa­trick Saun­ders

Kyle Free­land is out of the Rock­ies’ ro­ta­tion be­cause of a groin in­jury, so the big ques­tion now be­comes “Who’s in?”

Free­land, who leads qual­i­fied ma­jor-league rook­ies in vic­to­ries (11), ERA (3.70) and in­nings pitched (121M), was placed on the 10-day dis­abled list Satur­day af­ter strain­ing his left groin in the first in­ning Fri­day night against Philadel­phia. There is no spe­cific timetable for his re­turn, but he likely will miss at least two starts.

“I feels bet­ter than I did last night, but I’ve never had a leg in­jury like this. I’m bummed,” Free­land said Satur­day af­ter re­ceiv­ing treat­ment. “I don’t have a timetable, we’re just going to take it day by day.”

Free­land, who threw just 11 pitches be­fore de­part­ing the game, said he first felt a twinge in his groin when he bent down on the mound when catcher Jonathan Lu­croy at­tempted to throw out the Phillies’ Ce­sar Her­nan­dez steal­ing sec­ond base.

Free­land threw an­other pitch and felt fine, but on the next pitch he felt pain.

“When I first felt it, it felt like some­one poked a nee­dle in my thigh,” Free­land. “When I sat down in the du­gout … it kind of locked up on me.”

Man­ager Bud Black said the news about Free­land was “bet­ter than ex­pected.”

“There was some imag­ing done and ev­ery­thing looked pretty good,” Black said. “There is some trauma there, but the ex­tent of it is less than we thought last night.”

The lead­ing can­di­dates to re­place Free­land, for the short term any­way, are right-han­ders An­to­nio Sen­za­tela and Tyler Chat­wood. With two days off this week, the Rock­ies can get by with a four-man ro­ta­tion, but they still need a starter for Wed­nes­day’s game at Cleve­land. Black ruled out left-han­der Chris Rusin, as well as right-han­der Chad Bet­tis.

Rusin has been ex­cel­lent out of the bullpen, and Black wants to keep him there. Bet­tis will make at least one more start for Triple-a Al­bu­querque be­fore join­ing the big-league club. He is re­turn­ing from his bat­tle against tes­tic­u­lar can­cer.

Ros­ter moves. Seek­ing to bol­ster a bullpen taxed by Fri­day’s game, Colorado made a series of ros­ter moves. It called up right-handed re­liev­ers Shane Carle and Car­los Estevez from Al­bu­querque, op­tioned right-han­der Scott Oberg to Triple-a and re­in­stated Bet­tis from the DL and op­tioned him to Al­bu­querque. That move cleared the way for Bet­tis to re­join the ro­ta­tion.

Oberg, who is 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA, 18 walks and 40 strike­outs in 49 re­lief ap­pear­ances, has been strug­gling. Black be­lieved it was time for a Triple-a tuneup.

“We felt that the re­cent per­for­mance of Scott, re­ally the last two or three weeks, maybe in­di­cated to us that he needed a break,” Black said. “There were a cou­ple of things we talked about that he needs to con­cen­trate on at Triple-a, but I sus­pect that at some point this sea­son he will be back to help us get to where we want to go.”

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