Rockies give Anderson another day of rest

Club moves up Marquez to split up lefties

Rockies give Anderson another day of rest

SAN DIEGO -- To separate their left-handers and give Tyler Anderson another day to work on delivery flaws, the Rockies moved righty German Marquez up a game -- to Friday night against the D-backs -- and pushed back Anderson to Saturday's second game of the three-game set.

The Rockies had been starting Anderson right after lefty Kyle Freeland (Thursday's starter against the Padres). But if they both pitched in the same series, the opponent had two full games of lefties. That would be a good if both were pitching well and lefties created problems for the opponent's lineup. For example, the Dodgers have well-documented issues against left-handers.

But now, with Anderson slumping, having him pitch behind Freeland is less an advantage.

Anderson has given up nine home runs in 30 1/3 innings -- three fewer than he yielded in 114 1/3 as a rookie last season.

"We wanted to give 'Andy' a couple days' more rest," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He, Tyler and Antonio Senzatela are the guys that have been going at it pretty strong. It gave him a little bit of a break before this next start to work on a couple of things. So it was primarily to split the lefties, and also give Tyler a few extra days."

The downward motion of Anderson's fastball and changeup simply aren't there, which leads to pitches being left in the middle of the plate. Anderson's game is location and movement, not velocity. But Anderson gave up three home runs, and six runs in five innings, in his last start -- an eventual Rockies' 7-6 comeback victory on Saturday night.

Worth noting

• Having Minor League options had quite a bit to do with righty Carlos Estevez being sent to Triple-A Albuquerque. An alternative such as designating for assignment someone like struggling long man Jordan Lyles (10.03 ERA) or veteran Chad Qualls (2.70 in mostly low-leverage situations) would have reduced the club's depth. But the Rockies will make the best of it by having Estevez pitch at times in multiple innings at Albuquerque to give him more chances to work on the slider and changeup that can offset his fastball.

• The Rockies have given shortstop Trevor Story (.160, 6 HR, 13 RBIs in 27 games) the last two games out of the starting lineup. "It was more I just wanted him to exhale a bit," said Black, who said Story has been intensely working with hitting coach Duane Espy and assistant hitting coach Jeff Salazar.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. 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.