Flande, Butler to make starts down stretch for Rockies

Flande, Butler to make starts down stretch for Rockies

DENVER -- The Rockies will turn to left-hander Yohan Flande to start Thursday night against the D-backs, which means lefty Franklin Morales has been removed from the rotation for the remainder of the season.

Flande will also start on Sept. 23 at San Diego. Additionally, the Rockies are expected to call up right-hander Eddie Butler, their No. 2-ranked prospect, to start Saturday against the D-backs at Coors Field in the next-to-last home game. That would put the Rockies in position to finish the regular season with six starters. 

Flande (0-5, 5.04 ERA) had started eight of his 14 outings this season, with the last coming on Aug. 17 before he was optioned back to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Since being recalled on Sept. 1, Flande has made five straight scoreless relief appearances covering 4 1/3 innings. But Flande, 28, who broke in this season with the Rockies after a lengthy career in the Phillies and Braves organizations, could be seen as starting rotation depth in the future.

"We still haven't given up on him as a starter," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We feel like he can transition easily to the bullpen, if that's the case, like he's shown this year. When we put him in the bullpen, he's been very effective -- a strike-thrower, very effective against lefties. He can keep the ball at the bottom of the zone, so there are some things that he's done well."

Butler, 23, spent most of this season at Double-A Tulsa and was the losing pitcher Sunday, when the Drillers fell to Midland, 5-0, in the fifth and deciding game of the Texas League Championship Series.

Butler was called up from Tulsa to make his Major League debut on June 6 against the Dodgers. He gave up six earned runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings in a loss, then went on the disabled list with a right rotator cuff strain.

He finished the Minor League season 6-10 with a 3.99 ERA in 20 total starts, with 69 strikeouts in 117 1/3 innings. Part of his season, however, was spent rehabbing the injury.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.