The Rockies’ third-ranked prospect, right hander Jeff Hoffman, is scheduled to make his Major League debut Saturday against a dangerous Cubs lineup. As the centerpiece of the trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays, Hoffman’s break into the big leagues comes highly anticipated. At just 23, Hoffman boasts a mid-90s fastball with impressive movement. The pitch’s ground ball tendency figures to play well at altitude when it isn’t blowing past batters.
Manager Walt Weiss told reporters Hoffman will be thrown “right into the fire,” without any tight restrictions or innings limits in his first taste of the big leagues. Hoffman was dominant in his last Triple-A appearance, allowing just one hit while striking out nine in five innings for the Isotopes.
Jeff Hoffman Debut, Electric Boogaloo | Fangraphs
Eric Longenhagen has an excellent piece focusing Hoffman’s repertoire in advance of his big day.
More pieces were moved in the Rockies’ bullpen puzzle Friday. Chad Qualls was reinstated from the disabled list after missing over a month of playing time due to colitis. Qualls last pitched in Atlanta on July 15. To make room for Qualls, rookie Carlos Estevez, who has struggled as of late, was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Walt Weiss says he expects to see Estevez back with the Rockies fairly soon, after a much-needed physical and mental break.
The Chicago Cubs have come to Denver sporting a star-studded lineup led by NL MVP candidates Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. But for Bryant and the Cubs, Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is deserving of that same kind of praise. Cubs manager on Arenado: “I love him.”