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MLB Team Report - Colorado Rockies - INSIDE PITCH
Jonathan Gray has yet to throw his first professional pitch. That will happen July 10 when Gray, the third overall pick in last month's amateur draft, takes the mound for rookie level Grand Junction against Billings.
Grand Junction's season began June 20, eight days after Gray received a franchise-record $4.8 million signing bonus, well above the previous record of $3.9 million that the Rockies, 10-8 losers to the Dodgers on Wednesday, gave to left-handed pitcher Tyler Matzek in 2009 when he signed out of high school. But the Rockies are being understandably patient with Gray because of his college workload at the University of Oklahoma and because of their investment in his prized right arm.
At Oklahoma, Gray went 10-3 with a 1.64 ERA in 17 starts this season and had 24 walks and 147 strikeouts in 126 1/3 innings.
"He had a long season," Grand Junction pitching coach Ryan Kibler said. "We want to go nice and slow and make sure he's just right and ready to go. We didn't want to rush him along at all. He's everything that he's cracked up to be, especially watching him with some hitters standing in there, throwing his fastball down in the strike zone. It was fun to watch. He's for real."
Gray has hit 101 mph with his fastball and sits in the 95-97 mph range. That pitch should enable Gray to move fast but his repertoire also included a very good slider and a decent changeup.
"It's a plus-plus fastball," scouting director Bill Schmidt said. "It's a plus slider, if not a plus-plus slider -- mid-80s -- and he's got a changeup he didn't use a lot in college. He didn't have to. It's good now; it's got a chance to be real good."
Gray profiles as a true No. 1 starter. The Rockies have never really had a starting pitcher like him.
Ubaldo Jimenez was a brilliant power pitcher in the first half of the 2010 season before he started to fall off, and while he could sit at 94-95 mph with his fastball and touch 98, he never reached triple digits at that point and did have a tendency to issue too many walks.
"The stuff's there to be a front-of-the-rotation starter," Schmidt said of Gray. "With experience of doing it up here and the toughness that requires -- all the ingredients are there to be a front-of-the-rotation guy. In time, we'll find out if he's that No. 1 guy, but all the ingredients are there."
Gray is likely to get his feet wet at Grand Junction and move on this season. The conservative estimate is Gray will reach the Rockies in 2015, but it's very possible he could arrive in 2014.
MLB Team Report - Colorado Rockies - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost three
PAST 10 GAMES: 4-6
NEXT: Dodgers (Chris Capuano, 2-5, 4.72) at Rockies (Jhoulys Chacin, 7-3, 3.59)
--RHP Jhoulys Chacin is 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA in his past four starts, including this past Friday against San Francisco when he pitched eight shutout innings and won 4-1. Chacin is working on a scoreless streak of 15 consecutive innings, just shy of his career best 15 1/3 innings from April 27-May 8, 2010. He has pitched at least seven innings in each of his past three starts, the first Rockies starter to do so since Ubaldo Jimenez did it in four consecutive starts from July 29-Aug. 15, 2010. Chacin has allowed two home runs in 95 1/3 innings this season and one homer in 64 2/3 innings at Coors Field.
--LHP Rex Brothers allowed home runs in the ninth to Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp after giving up a homer to San Francisco's Buster Posey in his last appearance Sunday. Prior to Sunday, Brothers had made 32 straight scoreless outings covering 30 innings. Brothers' ERA rose to 1.02, the highest it has been since April 19 when it was 1.08.
--1B Todd Helton went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks. The double was the 577th of his career, which is one shy of Hall of Famer Wade Boggs for 19th all-time. The two walks increased Helton's total to 1,313 and moved him past Ken Griffey Jr. into 40th place all-time.
--LF Carlos Gonzalez hit his 23rd home run but only his 11th at Coors Field this season. Gonzalez has hit 23 home runs in 326 at-bats, one more homer than he hit last year in 518 at-bats.
--RHP Tyler Chatwood gave up his first two homers of the season, ending his string of homerless innings at 53 2/3. He yielded six runs, five earned and 11 hits -- all season-highs. In his first start for the Rockies this season on April 24, Chatwood allowed five runs, four earned, in six innings but had since allowed two or fewer runs in eight straight starts before this outing.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I left some mistakes over the plate. I think the biggest one was the curveball to (Juan) Uribe that he hit out. That was the back-breaker. It's frustrating. But you can't do anything, just move on and get ready for your next start." -- RHP Tyler Chatwood after an extra-innings loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday.
MLB Team Report - Colorado Rockies - ROSTER REPORT
--CF Dexter Fowler (sore right wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 26.
--RHP Edgmer Escalona (right elbow inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 10. He began a rehab assignment June 28 with Triple-A Colorado Springs and was activated July 2.
--SS Troy Tulowitzki (broken rib) went on the 15-day disabled list June 14. He is expected to be out until late July. He did some light throwing in late June but was not able to swing a bat as of June 27. He said he still feels pain and termed it "more like a bruise."
--LHP Edwar Cabrera (left shoulder impingement) went on the 60-day disabled list Feb. 14.
LHP Jorge De La Rosa
RHP Jhoulys Chacin
RHP Tyler Chatwood
RHP Roy Oswalt
RHP Rafael Betancourt (closer)
RHP Matt Belisle
LHP Rex Brothers
RHP Wilton Lopez
RHP Adam Ottavino
LHP Josh Outman
RHP Rob Scahill
RHP Manuel Corpas
RHP Edgmer Escalona
1B Todd Helton
2B DJ LeMahieu
SS Josh Rutlege
3B Nolan Arenado
INF Jordan Pacheco
INF Jonathan Herrera
LF Carlos Gonzalez
CF Tyler Colvin
RF Michael Cuddyer
OF Corey Dickerson