When Colorado Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland was hit by a line drive off of his left foot Tuesday night against the Chicago Cubs, the initial worry was that it was a serious injury.
Freeland stayed in the game, and X-rays showed there was no damage. After a few days of rest and his regular bullpen session, Freeland is ready to start on Sunday as the Rockies vie for a series sweep against the Miami Marlins in Denver.
Colorado won 14-2 on Friday and 7-4 the following day to push its winning streak to three games.
Freeland (2-6, 4.46 ERA) was pitching well before he had to leave Tuesday’s game, and he did enough to earn just his second win of the season. Freeland said he felt like he had dodged a bullet when X-rays on his foot came back clean.
“We’ll feel pretty good about where he is,” Rockies manager Bud Black said Saturday. “And Kyle, more importantly, feels he’s 100 percent — no issues with the foot. We’ll ask him (Sunday), we’ll watch his pregame, I’ll ask him his ability to run the bases … cover first base.”
Freeland had pitched at least six innings in his previous three starts while giving up just five earned runs.
Sunday will be the fourth time he has faced the Marlins. He is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his previous three appearances (one start).
Freeland will face a Miami lineup that still is getting adjusted to some new players. The Marlins were busy before the trade deadline, getting infielder Joe Panik from the San Francisco Giants at the end of June, outfielder Bryan De La Cruz from the Houston Astros and catcher Alex Jackson from the Atlanta Braves on July 28 and 29, respectively.
De La Cruz and Jackson have impressed acting manager James Rowson.
“I like the aggressiveness of both players, watching them come in,” said Rowson, who is filling in while manager Don Mattingly is on the COVID-19 injured list. “They’re aggressive in what they’re trying to do.
“De La Cruz has been impressive to me on both sides of the ball. The outfield has been exciting, just the way he’s cut down on some of the balls, the throws he’s made, his awareness. Really excited to watch him play defense.”
De La Cruz showed off his arm in right field with a couple of strong throws Saturday night, and he is starting to swing the bat, too.
“Offensively he’s starting to come along and getting a little more comfortable,” Rowson said. “Love the player, love his energy, love what he brings to the table every day. He’s a fun guy to be around.”
While the Marlins have lost seven of their past 10 games, Rowson appears to be looking at the bigger picture for the team.
“There’s no greater teacher than experience,” he said.
–Field Level Media