Gray, Freeland to pitch in San Diego series

Marquez to start opener; final starter still to be determined

August 29th, 2018

ANAHEIM -- A bit of a recent heavy workload for the Rockies' bullpen still has their pitching plans in flux moving forward, but manager Bud Black partially committed to a starting rotation for the upcoming weekend at San Diego.

is starting in the series opener against the Padres on Thursday. That assignment never was in question. But Wednesday's off-day will give Black some options for later in the four-game series.

"Marquez will pitch the first game and from there, it's a little fluid," Black said. "But you can expect Jon [Gray] and Kyle [Freeland] to pitch in San Diego as well."

Although Black has yet to confirm it, not mentioning for the weekend would further indicate the Rockies' plan of skipping the left-hander's turn in the rotation at least this time around.

So what happens with the struggling Anderson in the interim? Because Anderson threw just 36 pitches on Sunday, Black was making his starter available out of the bullpen Tuesday against the Angels.

The need for more arms in relief was necessitated because the Rockies required a heavy workload from their relievers both Sunday and in Monday's defeat to the Angels.

Black even suggested that and could pitch in relief Tuesday. That duo figures to be in the mix to start Friday. Senzatela started last Friday against the Cardinals, but gave up seven runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings. Bettis last started Aug. 12 and has made two relief appearances since.

The Rockies are already committing to Gray on Saturday. They do not have a starter listed for Sunday, but that seems more of a function of Freeland not yet making his start on Tuesday.

Freeland for Cy?

Black was asked about Freeland's Cy Young Award chances and the second-year Rockies manager did not hesitate to stump for his pitcher, who is 11-7 with a 2.96 ERA that was the lowest for a left-handed starter in the National League heading into play Tuesday.

"I think Kyle, last year, was more of a thrower and this year he's turned himself into a pitcher, disrupting timing, the use of the changeup, the consistency of the slider to both sides of the plate," Black said. "Fastball command is improved, delivery, repeating his release point, finish and arm slot. All the things that go into successful pitching, he's doing it in an extremely consistent fashion … like the good ones do."