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The Rockies already have 2 concerning pitching problems, and both got worse Tuesday

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The Rockies pitching staff may already be cracking from its foundation.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday was not a good day for the Rockies. Not just because they lost their game in Arizona 12-5, but because of what the big picture is starting to look like regarding two important arms. It's no secret the pitching on this team has been a question mark since day one, but the road they're headed down with Kyle Kendrick and Adam Ottavino could make things really ugly. We'll start with Kendrick.

Ryan Freemyer did a nice job of covering Kendrick's concerning trends in last night's extended game wrap. In particular, he notes that that Kendrick's Game Score last night was just 10, meaning it's the third time this season he's posted a Game Score under 30 after only posting two in 32 starts last season. Below is a table depicting Kendrick's last 37 Game Scores; 32 from 2014, and five from 2015. His 2015 Game Scores are highlighted in red.

Kendrick's Game Scores April

It's easy to see that so far, the Rockies are not getting what they thought they were paying for when they signed Kyle Kendrick. No, they were not expecting him to go out and take the world by storm, but they also weren't expecting him to get off to what's rapidly becoming the worst start of a season to his career.

Kendrick's last four starts as a group have been especially dismal. Here's four of the most hideous stats from that collection of games.

  • His ERA is 11.14 over these starts
  • Opposing batters have a 1.205 OPS against Kendrick in these four starts
  • Kendrick has allowed EIGHT home runs in these four starts
  • Opposing batters have a whopping 32% line drive rate off Kendrick in these four starts

(Last night's Game Score of 10 was the second worst Game Score Kendrick has posted in his entire career (spanning 190 starts). Oddly, the only one worse was also a late April game against the D'Backs.)

The other huge problem with Kendrick has been his inability to eat innings. This was something that seemed almost a guarantee despite his generally mediocre numbers. Last year, Kendrick made it through AT LEAST five innings in all 32 starts. This year, he's already failed to get through five innings twice! And don't you dare be one of those fools who claim "this is what happens when you bring a pitcher like Kendrick to Coors Field." Both of Kendrick's starts where he didn't get through five innings this year have been on the road. Something else is going on here.

Kendrick identifies the ineffectiveness of his cut fastball as the source of the problem, and it's something the Rockies need him to figure out fast. The other options are not looking too appealing right now. Jon Gray is experiencing serious growing pains in Triple-A, David Hale was just activated off the DL, got knocked around in his first rehab outing, and isn't stretched out yet, and Chad Bettis took 98 pitches to get through 4.2 innings of work last night. But the more concerning trend with the Bettis option is the five home runs he's already allowed in just four minor league starts.

The only realistic option at this moment if the Rockies really wanted to make a move is to put Christian Bergman into the rotation and flip Kendrick into the long relief role. I'm not sure it's time to pull that trigger yet, but Kendrick is certainly skating on some thin ice. Yikes!

* * * *

As if that wasn't bad enough news for the pitching, the Rockies have had yet another magical "oops, that injury is worse than we first realized" moment with a key player. This time, it's Adam Ottavino's elbow in addition to the triceps injury that was initially diagnosed. In some ways it's not too surprising, considering the wicked slider he throws, but that's the last thing the pen needs with LaTroy Hawkins already on the DL and Rex Brothers potentially lost in the black base on balls forest forever.

It's very, very difficult to draw conclusions with medical staffs, but this garbage of an injury being worse than the Rockies medical staff first thought seems to happen about once a month during every season now. I don't want to pile on or draw incorrect conclusions with limited information, but this act is getting so, so tiresome. What happened with Ottavino here is actually an improvement over some of the circus act performances we saw from this medical staff in 2014. I'll just leave this link here because we don't have time to go over all of them today.

Links

Carlos Gonzalez nailed Archie Bradley with 115 mph line drive off his face early last night. Thankfully, Bradley seems to be doing a little better now, but Cargo described that moment as a 'nightmare'.

Adam Wainwright is out for the season after tearing his Achilles coming out of the batter's box over the weekend, but he made it clear yesterday that he wants absolutely no part of a DH in NL.

The Nationals may have had a game that turns their season around last night. Down 9-1 early, Washington rallied for a 13-12 win including a three-run game-winning homer from Dan Uggla of all people in the top of the ninth.

For the first time in recorded history, a Major League game will be played in front of no fans. I'm going to check out this White Sox vs. Orioles game just to see how surreal the atmosphere is at Camden Yards.