WASHINGTON -- The Rockies-Nationals game was rained out Friday night, with a split doubleheader scheduled for Sunday (11:35 a.m. MT and 5:05 p.m.). Colorado manager Bud Black has roster decisions to make before Saturday night's game.On Friday, righty relief pitcher Pat Neshek, acquired in a trade with the Phillies for
WASHINGTON -- The Rockies-Nationals game was rained out Friday night, with a split doubleheader scheduled for Sunday (11:35 a.m. MT and 5:05 p.m.). Colorado manager Bud Black has roster decisions to make before Saturday night's game.
On Friday, righty relief pitcher Pat Neshek, acquired in a trade with the Phillies for three Minor Leaguers, joined the club. On the lineup card listed for the game that wasn't played, the Rockies had 10 relief pitchers.
Neshek took the place of outfielder/first baseman Ian Desmond, whose return to Washington -- where he played with distinction as a shortstop from 2009-15 -- was scuttled because of a calf injury. Desmond had never been on the Major League disabled list until this year. Now he has made three trips. He missed the first 25 games of the season with a fractured left hand, and he missed nine earlier this month with his first bout with a calf strain.
The Rockies placed Desmond on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Wednesday. And closer Greg Holland, who left the team on paternity leave before Wednesday's game, is due back Saturday.
So the Rockies will have to figure out whether the bullpen will carry eight or nine relievers -- starters Tyler Chatwood and Antonio Senzatela were listed as relievers, but one figures to start soon -- and how to fill the position-player spot vacated by Desmond. With right-handed-hitting Mark Reynolds likely to play regularly and lefty-hitting Gerardo Parra able to play it in a pinch, the Rockies don't necessarily have to call up a first baseman.
Colorado's best and most likely option at Triple-A Albuquerque is outfielder Raimel Tapia, who has a .314 average in 40 Major League games this season. He was not in Albuquerque's lineup Thursday or Friday.
The Rockies are expecting to keep their pitchers the same for the weekend series, meaning righty German Marquez (8-4, 4.20 ERA) will start Saturday. Lefty Kyle Freeland (10-7, 3.64 ERA) will move from Saturday to Sunday. Black did not commit to whether Freeland or righty Jon Gray (3-1, 5.84 ERA) will start the first game.
The Nationals will use Tanner Roark (8-6, 4.83 ERA) on Saturday. The Sunday starters are righty Erick Fedde, who is making his Major League debut, and Edwin Jackson (1-1, 3.75 ERA).
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**.