DENVER -- The Rockies and starting pitcher Kyle Freeland decided that it’s better to miss one start and take care of a recurring left middle finger blister than deal with it every start. On Monday, the Rockies placed him on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 19, which means he will just miss one start if all goes as expected.
Lefty Kyle Anderson was activated from the injured list for Monday’s start against the Nationals. As for Freeland’s turn on Tuesday, Rockies manager Bud Black did not make an official announcement. However, right-hander Chad Bettis is the likely Tuesday starter if he is not needed on Monday.
Freeland (2-3, 4.23 ERA) said the fingernail cracked three starts ago, when he gave up seven runs in five innings when he lost to the Braves. In his next start, Freeland left after five innings in a loss at San Francisco -- which marked just the second time in his career that he lost three straight starts -- when the crack irritated the skin and caused the blister. Then on Thursday, in his last start, Freeland held the Phillies scoreless and allowed just two hits, but he had to come out after the sixth inning because of the blister.
After a ceremony at Denver’s Thomas Jefferson high school to retire his jersey -- he wore 21 back then, too -- Freeland met with Rockies personnel to discuss the finger, and then the the announcement was made.
“It’s one of those things like, ‘We don’t want this happening every single start, so let’s get it to the point where you’re good, you’re healthy, your finger is ready to go and you’re not going to have any issues,’” said Freeland, who said he has pitched through blisters a couple times in 2017 and once last year.
“I think mother nature has to take its course here," Black said. "With Kyle and the medical staff, they both feel time will heal this issue with the fingernail and the blister. It’s going to be fine.”
• Daniel Murphy went 0-for-4 as the designated hitter on Thursday afternoon for Triple-A Albuquerque, the third and possibly final game of his rehab assignment. Murphy fractured his left index finger in the second game of the regular season.
• Right-hander German Marquez, who lasted just five innings in his last start while dealing with pain from an infected tooth, had the offending molar pulled over the weekend and should be fine for his start Wednesday against the Nationals.
• Lefty Jake McGee (left knee sprain) hopes to be throwing from the mound by the end of the week.
• Lefty reliever Chris Rusin (mid-back strain), who hasn’t appeared in the Majors this season, has recovered from a setback that occurred in an extended spring training game and is working toward a rehab assignment. Rusin said the problem came when he was not totally confident in the muscle and was pinching his scapula trying to protect it. He has strengthened it properly and gotten back to his proper mechanics, and feels strong.