ATLANTA -- Rockies lefty Tyler Anderson, coming off left knee surgery, will make a two-inning injury rehab appearance for Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday as the team attempts to build him up to help during the season's final month.Anderson, who last pitched on June 25 before undergoing arthroscopic surgery, likely will
ATLANTA -- Rockies lefty Tyler Anderson, coming off left knee surgery, will make a two-inning injury rehab appearance for Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday as the team attempts to build him up to help during the season's final month.
Anderson, who last pitched on June 25 before undergoing arthroscopic surgery, likely will appear in another game after two to three days. With Minor League seasons concluding soon, there isn't time to build his pitch count to full starter level. But manager Bud Black said if Anderson can handle 45-50 pitches, he can come back in a multi-inning relief capacity or start with a tight pitch count.
"We just want to make sure he's healthy. That's the main thing, that the knee feels good, that he's pitching in a natural fashion, that the quad feels good and the arm feels good," Black said. "And then whatever length of pitching he can give us will be great. We're running out of time to really build him up."
Anderson was 3-5 with a 6.11 ERA in 13 games (12 starts). He missed three weeks in early June because of left knee inflammation, but in his second appearance and first start after returning, he had to leave after 2 1/3 innings (and five hits, including two homers, and four runs) in a loss to the Dodgers because of problems with his quadriceps. The club decided to surgically correct the knee issue, then properly rebuild the leg muscles.
• The Rockies want to let rookie pitcher Jeff Hoffman rest, then ease him back into action at Triple-A, but the beginning of the effort didn't go quite as planned. On Thursday, Hoffman didn't make it through his scheduled inning against Salt Lake. He needed six pitches for a popup and a strikeout, but was pulled after allowing four hits, two walks and six runs.
Black said he and Hoffman have discussed the outing. Black outlined what needs to happen for him to help the club upon his return.
"He just wasn't making the pitches that big league pitchers need to make in his last handful of starts," Black said. "He spit out a good start against the Phillies: seven innings, one walk, eight strikeouts, one run. The starts surrounding that one were, Jeff will tell you, not up to his standards. That was a function of too many mistakes and not locating the ball."
• Ian Desmond, on a rehab assignment for a right calf injury, went 1-for-3 Friday night at Albuquerque. He'll start Sunday at shortstop, then be evaluated for a possible return to the Rockies.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.