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Rock Mining Week 13: Taking on water

Rotation injury woes

Doug Pensinger

Last week I asked if this team could hold on until top players returned from injury or if this '14 Rockies' season was already sunk. This past week was definitely a sign of the later as the team took on more water by winning only one of seven games. Eight and a half games out of the wild card, eleven games out of the NL West lead, this team can recover but not the way they are currently playing baseball. Last week I looked at the position players that were injured and who has replaced them. This week it is the starting rotation's turn as we look at whose loss has been the hardest on the team.

Jhoulys Chacin

Injury - Shoulder strain

ETR - Returned in May

Maybe we as fans should have known how this season was going to go when the Rockies couldn't make it out of spring training with more than three fifths of the starting rotation healthy. Jhoulys had to sit out the first month with a shoulder strain and has been playing catch up with his command and conditioning ever since. While there have been flashes of the old Jhoulys, this team is still waiting for the 2013 version to show up. Perhaps by the All-Star break he will have caught back up with the rest of the league.

Name Starts Record ERA Innings Ks BBs
Jhoulys Chacin 11 1-7 5.40 63.33 42 28

Tyler Chatwood

Injury - Left hamstring, then right elbow, now right forearm

ETR - Unsure

Tyler has seen a series of DL stints after coming over from the Angels for Chris Iannetta. This year he started on the DL and then came back in the middle of April in what appeared to be a hard decision for the team on who he would replace. Unfortunately, right before he returned, Brett Anderson broke his finger, giving the team a need for another pitcher. Though he pitched fairly well, Tyler would not make it through the month of April as he developed a strain in his pitching elbow. Just this week, during his attempt to return, he felt tightness in his forearm and is being reexamined.

Name Starts Record ERA Innings Ks BBs
Tyler Chatwood 4 1-0 4.50 24 20 8

Brett Anderson

Injury - Broken finger

ETR - middle of July

Just as Tyler Chatwood was getting set to make his return, the Rockies' biggest trade acquisition of the off-season broke his finger while batting. Brett didn't have much time to show the fans why the Rockies were willing to trade Drew Pomeranz for him before the injury so hopefully he will impress when he returns in a couple of weeks. How long he can stay healthy when he returns will be one of the most important things to watch as Brett has proven to be brittle throughout his career.

Name Starts Record ERA Innings Ks BBs
Brett Anderson 3 0-2 3.60 15 5 5

Jordan Lyles

Injury - Broken hand (non-pitching)

ETR - late July

Jordan was thought to be the sixth or seventh starter during spring training, but injuries to Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood allowed him to start the season with the big league club. All he did was start the season off with a great April, going 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA. While he started having less success around the middle of May, Jordan had proven his worth enough to stay in the rotation as Franklin Morales was moved to the pen in order to keep Jordan from being optioned to AAA. The list of freak injuries for the Rockies continued though as Jordan broke his glove hand against the Diamondbacks.

Name Starts Record ERA Innings Ks BBs
Jordan Lyles 12 5-1 3,52 69 49 26

The Replacements

Just as the rotation has been destroyed by injuries, even the replacements cannot stay healthy.  Here is the complete list of pitchers who have started for the above injured players.

Name Starts Record ERA Innings Ks BBs
Franklin Morales 11 3-4 6.13 61.67 41 25
Tyler Matzek 4 1-2 4.24 23.33 12 6
Christian Bergman 3 0-2 7.20 15 10 2
Christian Friedrich 2 0-2 8.10 10 11 4
Yohan Flande 1 0-0 7.20 5 4 1
Eddie Butler 1 0-1 10.13 5.33 2 3

This group of six have had to replace the four starters who have been injured along with replacing the ineffective Juan Nicasio. Although, looking at these statistics, Juan doesn't look all that ineffective. This group is a combined 4-11 with Tyler Matzek being the only one with a respectable ERA. I intentionally provided only basic stats as I will let you all argue any advanced stats on who is the best starter for the Rockies.


With three of the team's top five starters on the DL and the first two replacements (Butler and Bergman) joining them, this team's rotation is in shambles right now. Add in the move of Franklin Morales to the bullpen and Juan Nicasio to AAA and this team has used 12 starting pitchers by the mid point of the season. This does not even mention the series of injuries that Jorge De La Rosa has played through. He is the only starter that has been dependable this year and he is not close to pitching 200 innings due to short starts from finger and back issues.  Please use the poll below to tell me which injury has hurt this rotation the most.

As a side note, I am refraining from posting a Good, Bad, and Ugly section this week because the whole week would fit in the third section.