On the heels of starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa suffering a groin injury while running out a grounder in the Rockies' 9-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field, the team is reportedly set to promote right-handed starter Eddie Butler from Triple-A Albuquerque. De La Rosa is expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
The Rockies have yet to confirm the move -- and maybe won't until Butler is needed to take De La Rosa's place in the rotation on Sunday at Arizona, though Harding notes Butler's role hasn't been set at this point.
Butler has been so-so in four starts for Albuquerque this season, posting a 4.09 ERA while allowing 28 hits and six walks -- and striking out 14 batters -- in 22 innings. The 25-year-old, former top 30 overall prospect entered the season without much of a shot to start the year in the rotation after having virtually no success in two big league stints. He owns a 6.04 ERA while walking more batters (49) than he's struck out (47) in 95⅓ innings spanning 19 starts.
De La Rosa, as is regularly the case, has struggled out of the gates this season, posting a 10.18 ERA through five starts. However, his issues are much different in 2016; De La Rosa usually fights command problems as a result of some extra oomph on his fastball, but he's averaging just 90 mph with that pitch this year. That's down a few ticks from previous Aprils and a reduction of nearly 1.5 mph from last year overall.
The Rockies earlier this week optioned starter Jordan Lyles to the minors after he began the season with a 7.64 ERA in four starts and replaced him with lefty Chris Rusin. The club in a separate move last week also added Jon Gray, who began 2016 rehabbing a minor injury, to the rotation.
Rockies starters this season own a National League-worst 5.89 ERA while working the third-fewest innings of any NL rotation.