DENVER -- Rockies lefty pitcher Kyle Freeland grew up about 15 minutes from Coors Field. On Friday, he provided living proof to children at Castro Elementary School that their dreams might not be far away, either.Freeland showed up for the school's field day, and cheered and directed the boys and
DENVER -- Rockies lefty pitcher Kyle Freeland grew up about 15 minutes from Coors Field. On Friday, he provided living proof to children at Castro Elementary School that their dreams might not be far away, either.
Freeland showed up for the school's field day, and cheered and directed the boys and girls. As a product of Denver public schools -- he played in the R.B.I. (Reviving Baseball in the Inner City) program as a youth, and starred at Thomas Jefferson High School before going to the University of Evansville and then being drafted in the first round in 2014 -- Freeland wants to stay close to his roots.
In his second year with the Rockies, Freeland is in the early stages of encouraging those who are growing up like he did. And he's not just pushing baseball or sports. Freeland and John Fuller, of Full Athlete Marketing, want Freeland delivering the message of participation in several disciplines.
"I got to talk with some of the kids, interact with them, take some pictures and just enjoy the day with them," Freeland said. "I was at the obstacle course, where they had to jump over some hurdles and jump through some standing-up hoops, like a relay race kind of thing. They were out there having fun.
"At their age, you want them to get a taste of everything and find what they love, whether it be baseball, football, soccer, anything. It doesn't even have to be sports. It could be playing an instrument. Education is key and it comes first, but at the same time you want to find something that you can put your heart into."
Freeland had some events in Pueblo, Colo., and in Denver -- at Holm Elementary, which he attended and where his mother still works in the office -- during the offseason.
But Friday's was his first under this program, which he hopes to continue next year. He had to back out of a couple other this year because they were on days he was scheduled to start for the Rockies.
Righty reliever Carlos Estevez and lefty reliever Zachary Rosscup were in Denver to evaluate their rehab progress. Estevez (right elbow) and Rosscup (middle finger) were placed on the the 60-day disabled list and have not played for the Rockies this season.
Estevez, who can throw 100 mph, sustained his elbow ligament injury in the dugout on April 15 at Triple-A Albuquerque.
"I couldn't get extended in the game but I didn't feel anything in my elbow," said Estevez, who was 5-0 with a 5.57 ER in 35 Major League appearances last year. "Then I was sitting in the dugout and someone called me. I turned around and pushed up off the bench with my arm, felt something and said, 'That was weird.' Then the trainer took a look at me and said strained UCL."
Rosscup's had surgery on his middle finger for what was originally thought to be a blister but turned out to be a wart.
"I've been through a lot," said Rosscup, who held lefty hitters hitless in 15 at-bats over nine games, after arriving in a trade with the Cubs in 2017. "They did a protein injection. I had it cut off. They put a cream on to make it blister and restart the skin. Compound W. Duct tape. I've done it all."
Estevez hopes to play catch soon. Rosscup has begun playing catch and the finger doesn't bother him throwing a fastball. But it won't yet let him throw his slider, which is his best pitch.
Second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who hasn't played since May 13 because of a left thumb injury, hit off a tee Friday for the first time since the injury, and felt no discomfort.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.