DENVER -- Following his start Thursday, Rockies rookie Jeff Hoffman was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday. But Hoffman won't be pitching in Albuquerque -- or at all -- anytime soon.The Rockies are giving Hoffman a break, manager Bud Black said, similar to how fellow rookies Kyle Freeland and Antonio
DENVER -- Following his start Thursday, Rockies rookie Jeff Hoffman was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday. But Hoffman won't be pitching in Albuquerque -- or at all -- anytime soon.
The Rockies are giving Hoffman a break, manager Bud Black said, similar to how fellow rookies Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela received rest earlier this season. Hoffman won't pitch for five or six days and then the Rockies will re-evaluate.
"None of these guys have pitched a full big league season," pitching coach Steve Foster said. "Chad Bettis is the only one that we've had do that. Jon Gray hasn't pitched start to finish a big league season yet. He was injured. None of the young guys have."
Freeland was moved to the bullpen after his near no-hitter July 9, made one relief appearance and then returned to the rotation July 23. Senzatela has been up and down from the bullpen since June 22, making three starts and seven relief outings.
The Rockies are trying to manage their young pitchers' workloads, as none have exceeded Gray's 168 innings last year in a professional season. Freeland leads the team in innings this year with 127 2/3.
Hoffman had said after Thursday's loss that he felt slightly under the weather but thought he "had enough" to pitch well. He gave up four solo home runs in 4 1/3 innings on just 63 pitches. The Rockies had relievers warming up in the third inning before Hoffman crossed the 40-pitch threshold.
Over his last couple of starts, Hoffman's fastball velocity has dipped. Hoffman's fastball averages 94.4 mph, but Thursday it sat at 92.1 mph and last Saturday it was 93.4 mph.
"That's a sign to us. 'Hey, is your arm fine?'" Foster said. "'Yeah, I feel great. I'm healthy.' OK, well then let's give you a little break.
"It's a learning time. Unlike any other place in the world for baseball, the recovery and the amount of torque, things that your body endures playing here and pitching here, you need a break. … Part of that built-in break is where we're at."
The Rockies recalled reliever Scott Oberg from Albuquerque to take Hoffman's roster spot.
• Rockies No. 3 prospectRyan McMahon was also optioned Friday after being called up just last week. McMahon went 2-for-9 in four games (two starts) with a double and RBI. Outfielder Mike Tauchman was recalled in place of McMahon.
• The Rockies will host a free, one-day umpire camp in conjunction with MLB on Saturday at Coca-Cola All-Star Park in Lakewood. Running from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. MT, the camp will be staffed by former umpires, current MLB supervisors and observers, and NCAA officials. Registration begins at 8 a.m. MT.
Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.