Anderson to start Saturday in place of Freeland

Anderson to start Saturday in place of Freeland

PHOENIX -- Rockies manager Bud Black noted that rookie lefty Kyle Freeland's effectiveness has dipped recently, so he installed second-year lefty Tyler Anderson in Freeland's rotation spot for Saturday night's game against the Padres at Coors Field.

Freeland was hit in the left shoulder and jaw by a J.D. Martinez line drive leading off the fourth inning during Monday's contest vs. the D-backs and left with the game tied, 1-1. Freeland checked out fine and threw the next day.

Freeland hit in shoulder, jaw

However, Black looked at the last five starts (0-3, 5.73 ERA, .349 batting average against, 29 hits and 21 strikeouts with 15 walks in 22 innings) and figured it was time to make a switch. The rookie left-hander will pitch out of the bullpen for now.

Freeland (11-10, 4.03 ERA) leads the Rockies with 149 2/3 innings -- just below the 162 innings he threw in Double-A and Triple-A last year. But Black said the key issue is not fatigue.

"There were a couple things I saw and the pitching coaches saw from a performance standpoint that we felt it was the thing to do," Black said. "His stuff is reading out the same. What I'm seeing from a performance level is that he's not making the quality of pitch that he has most of the season."

Freeland on his shoulder

Anderson, who had not appeared in the Majors since June 25 because of a left knee injury that required surgery, replaced Freeland and threw four scoreless innings with one hit, four strikeouts and no walks to earn the decision in the Rockies' 5-4 victory. Black said Anderson, who was activated Sunday after four Minor League rehab appearances (two starts), will throw 50-70 pitches.

"Tyler was outstanding, pitched four innings, gave up a sacrifice fly and after that really threw the ball great," Black said. "I liked his fastball-change combination. He mixed in a couple slider-cutters."

Worth noting

• Righty Tyler Chatwood (7-12, 4.70 ERA) held the Dodgers scoreless for five innings in his last start, which was his third since the All-Star break. A right calf injury and general control issues limited him to the bullpen for much of the second half.

But Chatwood, who will start Friday against the Padres, said he is on track after noting a flaw in his delivery that affected his control on his sinker. Chatwood's lead foot was landing slightly to the third-base side instead of more directly to the plate.

"Once you have muscle memory, it's really hard to break that," said Chatwood, who is 2-6 with a 6.25 ERA in 14 games (10 starts) at home this season. "Now I look after every throw. You can see your cleat marks and realize how far you were over. It's not an easy adjustment but you can fix it once you know it."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.