DENVER — The Colorado Rockies placed rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland on the 10-day disabled Saturday, a day after he was forced to leave his start in the first inning because of a left groin strain.
Freeland, who leads both the team and major league rookies in wins with 11 this season, had thrown 11 pitches and recorded one out when he was lifted from Friday night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies because of the injury.
“It’s a blow because he’s pitched well for us all year,” manager Bud Black said Saturday before Colorado resumed its series with the Phillies.
“He’s been pretty steady. There’s been a couple of rough games but for the most part he’s kept us in games and he’s won double-digit games. That tells me something about his ability to win and stay around. We’re going to miss him because he’s a good pitcher. But this is a chance for a couple of other guys to do their thing and help us win. But Kyle will be back. I don’t know when, but he will be back.”
Freeland said Saturday that he tweaked his groin when he ducked down to avoid catcher Jonathan Lucroy’s throw to second base in a bid to prevent a stolen base. He threw a couple more pitches before the pain shooting down his leg made it impossible to continue, and Black in consultation with team trainers pulled him from the game.
“I’ve never had a leg injury like this,” Freeland said. “It kind of stunk that it came in the first inning, too. It taxed our bullpen. But I think we made the right decision getting me out before anything worse could happen.”
In related moves, the Rockies optioned right-handed reliever Scott Oberg to Triple-A Albuquerque while recalling right-handed pitchers Shane Carle and Carlos Estévez. The Rockies wanted to bolster their bullpen after using five pitchers to get the last 26 outs in Friday’s one-run win over the Phillies.
“It was a great night for the ‘pen last night to get 26 outs but we felt as though some reinforcements were needed,” Black said.
Additionally, the Rockies reinstated from the 60-day disabled list right-hander Chad Bettis, who is coming back from a bout with testicular cancer. He was optioned to Albuquerque.
Black said right-hander Antonio Senzatela, who has been pitching out of the bullpen in recent weeks after beginning the season in the rotation, was a candidate to fill-in for Freeland when his spot comes up Wednesday in Cleveland. Also under consideration is left-hander Tyler Anderson, who is nearing a return from a left knee injury that has sidelined him since late June.