Colorado Rockies starter Chris Rusin hasn't pitched well his last couple of times out, but -- as reluctant as I might be to say it -- the 28-year-old right-hander still deserves at least another few starts.
The Rockies and their manager, Walt Weiss, seem to agree, delaying what seems like an inevitable call-up of top prospect Jon Gray in order to let Rusin work through his recent skid. Rusin will take the mound on Sunday in the Rockies' series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field. He enters the game with a 5.14 ERA in 28 innings but has performed particularly poorly in his last two outings.
Rusin has been tagged for 13 runs on 20 hits in 9⅓ innings in starts against the Miami Marlins and Houston Astros. That came after he surrendered just three runs in his first 18⅔ frames following a promotion from Triple-A Albuquerque.
Meanwhile, Gray is set to start for Albuquerque at home against Tacoma. Though the 23-year-old righty has been very good of late, posting 2.68 ERA in more than 50 innings since May 1, Weiss doesn't think he's quite ready.
"There's still a bit left in development for him," Weiss said in a recent interview with MLB Network Radio. "The consistency is starting to show up."
Therein lies the key for Gray, apparently. Perhaps stringing together a few more good starts -- or, if he does have a bad one, showing the ability to bounce back effectively -- will cue the Rockies to make a move.
Of course, some of that depends on Rusin's big league performance. If he can right the ship against a middling Brewers lineup, Weiss and the Rockies' brass might continue to exercise patience when it comes to the 2013 first-round draft pick.