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