Times-Call (Longmont)

Rockies pitcher Marquez suffers hamstring injury

- By Patrick Saunders psaunders@denverpost.com

German Marquez was pumped up to pitch for his native Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. Now the Rockies’ right-hander is bummed out.

Marquez injured his left hamstring during condition drills last week and that will prevent him from pitching in the first round of the WBC. Marquez still hopes to be able to participat­e in the second round but it remains to be seen if that will happen.

“I’m sad and disappoint­ed,” Marquez told Mlb.com Friday morning at the Rockies’ Salt River Fields complex in Scottsdale, Ariz. “I wanted to be in the World Baseball Classic, but I have to do my recovery and be healthy to start the season.”

According to manager Bud Black, Marquez has not thrown a bullpen session in spring training but is playing catch and did some light running on Friday morning.

“We’re fortunate in a lot of ways, and German realizes this, that it’s the middle of February and not the middle of March,” Black told reporters. “This sets him back a little bit from the work that he needs to do presently to get ready for those first games with Venezuela.”

Position battles

The Rockies expect to open the season with Elias Diaz as their primary catcher and Brian Serven as the backup. If one of those two were to go down with an injury, Black said the club could look into signing a veteran.

However, Black also said that he’s excited for the next crop of catchers, led by Drew Romo, Colorado’s 2020 first-round pick (No. 35 overall out of The Woodlands High School in Texas).

“The catching group here is probably as good as it’s been since I’ve been here in terms of talent and depth, for potential major league catchers,” Black said. “We have good young catchers — talent-wise.”

Injury update

With Marquez’s injury, Colorado now has two of its top five rotation pitchers out of action. Righthande­r Antonio Senzatela, who underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in September, won’t rejoin the major-league team until midmarch, at the earliest.

By the numbers

Attrition that comes with pitching at altitude has always been a concern for the Rockies, but they used just eight starting pitchers all last season, tied with Houston for the fewest starters used in the majors.

Kyle Freeland made 31 starts, as did Marquez. They were followed by Chad Kuhl (27), Ryan Feltner (19), Senzatela (19), Austin Gomber (17), José Ureña (17) and Ty Blach (one).

Rockies manager Bud Black watches pitchers throw during the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Wednesday.


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