Numbers game springs up in Rockies' rotation

Numbers game springs up in Rockies' rotation

Numbers game springs up in Rockies' rotation
SAN DIEGO -- The Rockies began their current road trip wondering where their next starts would come from.

Strong starts by callups Alex White and Christian Friedrich the last two games don't exactly mean the team has an embarrassment of riches, but the Rockies do have enough choices that the decisions are difficult.

White, the Indians' first-round Draft pick in 2009 who joined the Rockies in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade last year, and Friedrich, the Rockies' top pick in 2008, were called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs for this road trip after the starters were generally dreadful in the club's 3-6 homestand.

White, solid in a 3-1 loss to the Padres on Tuesday, is in line to start Monday in the opener of two games against the Giants. Friedrich threw six strong innings in Wednesday's 6-2 victory over the Padres.

The problem is right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (2-1, 5.92 ERA) is scheduled to come off the disabled list for Tuesday's game against the Giants, which would be Friedrich's next turn. Guthrie has been out since suffering a sprained right shoulder in an April 28 bicycle accident.

Guthrie is scheduled to throw in a Minor League rehab game for Class A Modesto at Stockton on Thursday. But manager Jim Tracy said Friedrich has earned consideration for another start. Tracy said he will announce the starting pitching plan Friday, after the club takes Thursday off.

"We've got some things to talk about," Tracy said. "But you can't help to be impressed with what you saw."

Friedrich said he would be willing to take the ball whenever asked. White said he and Friedrich didn't look at themselves as fill-in pitchers.

"I haven't heard anything about another start but we wanted to pitch well and hang around as long as we can," White said. "We're both very good pitchers and we're here to help. We plan on being here in the future and helping this team win, and we want to do it right now. Friedrich is really good and I've made the changes I need to make to be an effective pitcher."