Rockies considering six-man rotation after the all-star break
The Rockies have six starters healthy and ready to go for the second half of the season. They are considering using all of them in a six-man rotation, at least for the short term.
“We are talking about it, but I’m not sure how we are going to play it out,” manager Bud Black said Sunday after the Rockies lost, 8-3, to Pittsburgh.
When the Rockies begin the second half at Milwaukee on Friday, right-hander Antonio Senzatela (3-5, 4.95) will make his first major-league start since going on the injured list July 2 with shoulder inflammation. Right-hander Jose Urena, who’s been impressive, posting a 1.45 ERA in three starts for the Rockies, will pitch Saturday.
Right-hander Chad Kuhl (6-5, 4.11) will pitch next Sunday against the Brewers, followed by left-hander Kyle Freeland (4-7, 4.96) on Monday. The other two pitchers in the six-man mix are right-hander German Marquez (6-7, 5.47) and lefty Austin Gomber (5-7, 5.97), who pitched five innings Sunday.
Gomber and Marquez both said they were OK with a six-man rotation.
“I don’t think it will have any impact if we have six guys who are rolling,” Gomber said. “Other teams have done it. I don’t think it’s a negative thing for us or will have any impact on what we do. You get an extra day of rest, which is always a good thing. So I’d be fine with it.”
Marquez, who’s pitched much better lately after a poor start to the season, added: “This break is going to be good for us. It’s (Black’s decision) and I don’t mind. I just want to go out and pitch.”
The Rockies are 12-8 over their last 20 games, with starters combining for a 4.78 ERA over that span.
Diaz heating up. Catcher Elias Diaz is starting to swing a more potent bat. He was 2-for-3 with a double and a triple on Sunday for his fourth consecutive multi-hit game. He’s hitting .500 (8-for-16) over the streak, with four doubles, a triple and three RBIs.
The streak matches his career-high set from May 28-June 1, 2019 when he was playing for Pittsburgh.
Diaz, who struggled at the plate through much of the first half of the season, has improved his average to .231.
Veen shines. Outfielder Zac Veen, Colorado’s top prospect, who’s rated as the 22nd overall prospect in the majors by MLB.com, started in left field and hit sixth for the National League in Saturday’s All-Star Futures Game.
Veen, Colorado’s first-round pick in 2020 (ninth overall), went 2-for-3 with a pair of opposite-field singles and stole two bases.