March 25: Freeland will not require surgery, manager Bud Black announced Thursday, calling the initial reports from the team’s medical staff “encouraging” (link via Saunders). That said, Black also declined to provide a timeline, revealing only that Freeland will have more imaging performed “in a couple of weeks,” at which point the Rockies hope to be able to offer a more definitive timeline. Freeland will open the season on the injured list.
March 23: Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland exited his outing against the Athletics on Tuesday with a strained pitching shoulder, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Freeland left the mound in pain after throwing a pitch to the A’s Mark Canha, as Thomas Harding of MLB.com tweets.
There is no word on how serious Freeland’s injury is, but it does look like one that could sideline him for at least the beginning of the regular season. A healthy Freeland would follow No. 1 starter German Marquez in the Rockies’ rotation, having thrown 70 2/3 innings of 4.33 ERA/4.95 SIERA ball last year. Those aren’t great numbers – especially compared to a 2018 effort in which Freeland put up a 2.85 ERA/4.35 SIERA in 202 1/3 innings and finished fourth in National League Cy Young voting – but they were markedly better than the 6.73 ERA/5.19 SIERA he recorded over 104 1/3 frames in 2019. The 27-year-old has followed last season’s bounce-back performance with seven scoreless innings and six strikeouts against one walk this spring.
If Freeland isn’t available to start the season, the Rockies will open with Marquez, Jon Gray, Austin Gomber and Antonio Senzatela as their top four. Ryan Castellani, Antonio Santos and Jose Mujica are also on their 40-man roster, but Dereck Rodriguez and Chi Chi Gonzalez are in the mix as NRIs.