Friedrich To Return Monday

July 10, 2009 | 4:56 pm | 1  

Left-hander Christian Friedrich is scheduled to start Monday for high Class A Modesto. He has been sidelined with left elbow inflammation and last pitched June 10. Having thrown 60 pitches in a simulated game, Friedrich will throw around 75 pitches Monday against High Desert.

Friedrich, who was the Rockies first-round pick in 2008 and the 25th player taken overall, is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts for Modesto after going 3-3 with a 2.18 ERA in eight starts at low Class A Asheville to begin the season.

Triple-A Colorado Springs reliever Ryan Mattheus will undergo Tommy John surgery Monday in Denver. Dr. Thomas Noonan, the Rockies medical director, will perform the ligament transplant procedure that is expected to sideline Mattheus at least a year.

Esmil Rogers won his Triple-A debut, allowing nine hits and three runs in six innings for Colorado Springs at Salt Lake with no walks and five strikeouts in the Sky Sox’s 9-4 win. Rogers threw 58 of 80 pitches for strikes including 45 of 61 fastballs. He topped out at 96 mph with that pitch and averaged 94 mph. That was a plus pitch for him, while Rogers’ slider and changeup were average. He threw nine of 14 sliders for strikes, averaging 83 mph with that pitch, and four of five changeups, averaging 85 mph.

Pitching woes resulting from injuries have been at the root of Modesto’s 4-11 start in the second half. In addition to missing Friedrich, the Nuts have been without starters Connor Graham (elbow soreness) and Bruce Billings (shoulder tendinitis). However, Graham, who is 4-4 with a 3.74 ERA, is scheduled to return tonight (Friday) and be on a 70-75 pitch limit.

The Nuts’ bullpen took another hit but happily so when left-handed set-up man Matt Reynolds was moved up to Double-A Tulsa on Friday. Set-up man Edgmer Escalona left the Nuts after a July 6 appearance and has not allowed a run in seven appearances and seven innings at Tulsa.

Reynolds, 24, has pitched himself into prospect status this season, going 5-3 with a 1.29 ERA in 39 games for the Nuts with eight walks and 58 strikeouts in 49 innings. Modesto pitching coach Doug Linton said Reynolds is able to command four pitches _ fastball, slider, split-fingered and changeup _ to both sides of the plate. He has hit 92 mph with his fastball this season and pitches at 88-89 mph.

Reynolds, who is 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, was drafted in the 20th round out of Austin Peay State University. He went 6-2 with a 2.53 ERA in 42 games at Asheville last year with 14 walks and 53 strikeouts in 57 innings. He gave up eight earned runs in 14 1/3 innings in April and just eight earned runs the rest of season and continued in that groove this year.

Reynolds’ promotion leaves the Nuts without a left-hander in their bullpen. To take his place, Austin Chambliss was sent back to Modesto from Tulsa, where he went 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA in 24 games. Chambliss began the season at Modesto and went 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA in 10 games.

Reynolds will join a Tulsa bullpen that already has left-handers Adam Bright, Tommy Baumgardner and Xavier Cedeno. Reynolds’ stuff is considered better than these other left-handers.

Left-hander Brandon Durden, who has bounced between Modesto and Tulsa all season, went back to Tulsa and will go into the spot in the rotation held by Rogers.

1 Comment »

  • Dylan | July 11, 2009 | 2:43 pm

    Love to hear about our farm system. Great reporting Jack!! =]