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Inbox: Will Hoffman stay in the rotation?

Beat reporter Thomas Harding answers fans' questions
June 5, 2017

DENVER -- The Rockies are in first place, with potentially more starting pitchers than rotation spots. What are they going to do if that becomes the case?The short answer is celebrate.But let's take a look at pitching and more in the Edward Jones Inbox. These came via Twitter, follow me

DENVER -- The Rockies are in first place, with potentially more starting pitchers than rotation spots. What are they going to do if that becomes the case?
The short answer is celebrate.
But let's take a look at pitching and more in the Edward Jones Inbox. These came via Twitter, follow me at @harding_at_mlb.

Expect Hoffman (3-0, 2.61 ERA in three starts since May 11) to start Saturday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. If that goes well, I suspect the Rockies could find a place for him. The 10-day DL for another player could come in handy.

Rockies manager Bud Black has said he has no plans to go with a six-man rotation. But could the Rockies figure out a way to go with more than five starters -- even though they would never have more than five in the rotation at the same time?
The Rockies put lefty Tyler Anderson on the disabled list with a nagging knee issue, and could use the strategy with other pitchers. If Antonio Senzatela, who was limited to 34 2/3 Minor League innings, or Kyle Freeland, who threw all 162 of his innings in the Minors, show fatigue, they could use the disabled list to slow the innings load. 
The Dodgers, for example, have placed four members of their rotation on the DL. Currently, lefty Alex Wood is there with shoulder inflammation. So far, six different starters have made at least six starts.
Gray, by the way, will throw a simulated game Tuesday at Coors Field. Once he has worked up to fielding drills and is judged healthy enough for offense -- even if he is limited to bunting rather than, say legging out doubles, he most likely will start a brief injury rehab assignment.

Before joining the Rockies, Ian Desmond's on-base percentage ranged between .313 and .335, with the exception of a .290 during a rough 2015. He has struck out in 26.5 percent of his plate appearances, which is up slightly over last year but in line with past performances. His rate of strikeouts while looking -- 27.8 percent -- is in line with his career percentage.
Desmond missed most of April with the broken left hand, which he suffered March 12. Desmond returned after a brief rehab in extended spring training, and it could be that he is simply needing the repetitions before providing the prolonged power surges he has shown in the past.

We haven't seen if general manager Jeff Bridich will cash in multiple prospects for a starter. But Chris Archer is under a favorable contract -- it runs through 2019 with club options for 2020 and 2021. It's not clear what the Rockies see as surpluses, but such a deal would have to involve multiple prospects. 
However, I would not be surprised if the trades the Rockies make, if in the race, would be to add power bullpen arms.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and** like his Facebook page**.