HomeMLB RumorsRockies Place Kyle Freeland On Injured List With Elbow Strain

Rockies Place Kyle Freeland On Injured List With Elbow Strain

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The Rockies announced that left-hander Kyle Freeland has been placed on the 15-day injured list with a left elbow strain, retroactive to April 16. Right-hander Noah Davis has been recalled in a corresponding move.

Freeland, 31 next month, is having a rough start to his season, having allowed 23 earned runs in 15 2/3 innings over his first four starts. Most recently, he was the subject of attention for a non-pitching appearance he made. After Freeland had started Sunday’s game, he entered Monday’s contest as a pinch runner.

Catcher Elias Díaz doubled with two outs in the top of the ninth, with the Rockies tied with the Phillies at the time. Freeland ran for Díaz and went to third on a wild pitch, then later tried to score on yet another wild pitch. But as he slid into home, he collided with pitcher Jeff Hoffman, who was receiving the ball from catcher J.T. Realmuto and attempting to make a tag. Freeland was ruled out and was visibly hurt on the play, grabbing at his non-throwing shoulder (Video via MLB.com).

After the game, manager Bud Black said that Freeland was fine, per Luke Zahlmann of the Denver Gazette. Black later explained to MLB Network Radio that a stomach virus was going around the club and a couple of guys on the team were not even present at the ballpark, meaning there was essentially no position player bench to draw from, which is why Freeland was tapped for the unusual assignment.

That injury was to Freeland’s right shoulder and today’s is a strain of his left elbow. The team has not commented on today’s injury announcement, though Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says they’re unrelated.

Whether there’s any connection to the pinch-running situation or not, it’s bad news for the Rockies either way. They have started the season 4-15 and Freeland’s injury will further thin out a pitching staff that is arguably the worst in baseball. Collectively, Colorado pitchers have a 6.01 ERA, highest in the league. The Astros are 29th at 5.24 and will likely see some stabilization now that Justin Verlander is coming off the injured list, thus bumping everyone else down a peg.

The Rockies play in a very hitter-friendly setting but it’s still been bleak. As of a few years ago, the Colorado rotation was anchored by Freeland, Antonio Senzatela and Germán Márquez, with the Rockies signing extensions with all three of those pitchers. But the latter two both required Tommy John surgery last summer, leaving Freeland as the only member of that trio left standing.

As mentioned, Freeland wasn’t out to a great start, but in a tiny sample size. Over his entire career, he has a 4.53 earned run average despite pitching half his games at Coors Field. The Rockies gave him a five-year, $64.5MM extension going into the 2022 season. To this point, it’s unclear if Freeland is facing a significant absence, but the fact that he has an elbow strain will at least lead to some worry that yet another pitcher will be going under the knife. Even if that doesn’t come to pass, the Rockies will nonetheless be proceeding without any of their core starters for the next few weeks at least.

Davis was starting in the minors so perhaps he will step in Freeland’s rotation spot for the time being alongside Cal Quantrill, Dakota Hudson, Austin Gomber and Ryan Feltner. The club will presumably provide more details about Freeland’s prognosis, either before or after tonight’s game.


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