Rockies put top pitching prospects back on display

Rockies put top pitching prospects back on display

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies will take another look at some of their top pitching prospects this week.

Righty Jeff Hoffman, a top 10 Draft pick who came to the Rox in the Troy Tulowitzki trade with the Blue Jays, was sent to Minor League camp last week, but the Rockies are bringing him back for a start Thursday against the Angels at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. It'll be the second Cactus League appearance for Hoffman, the Rockies' fifth-ranked prospect who struck out two in two scoreless innings against the Reds on March 6.

On Thursday morning, righty German Marquez, part of the Corey Dickerson trade with the Rays, will start a "B" game against the Cubs at the Rockies' complex. Marquez, Colorado's No. 14 prospect, fanned three in two scoreless innings against the Dodgers on Sunday.

Top Prospects: Marquez, COL

The Rockies also are starting righty Antonio Senzatela in Friday's Cactus League game against the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Senzatela, the Rockies' 12th-ranked prospect, preceded Marquez on Sunday and struck out four in two scoreless innings.

With David Hale just returning from a right hamstring injury -- he's slated for his first spring inning Thursday -- and lefty Chris Rusin still needing to build his arm after suffering a left middle finger injury before pitching in a game, manager Walt Weiss gets more time to see top Minor League arms.

"I just wanted to get another look at them against Major League competition," Weiss said. "Wanting to see them pitch against an 'A' lineup. They handled themselves well in their [previous appearances]. We wanted to see it again."

Hoffman was selected ninth overall in 2014, but he missed that season because of Tommy John surgery. He spent most of last season at the Class A and Double-A levels with the Blue Jays, and at Double-A New Britain for the Rockies. Hoffman went a combined 5-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 20 starts, with 75 strikeouts and 27 walks in 104 innings.

Marquez, 21, was 7-13 with a 3.56 ERA and 104 strikeouts against 29 walks in 139 innings at Class A Charlotte in the Blue Jays' system.

Senzatela went 9-9 with a 2.51 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 154 innings last season with Class A Advanced Modesto, after going 15-2 with a 3.11 ERA at Class A Asheville in 2014.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.