The Rockies are kicking right-hander Connor Seabold to the bullpen, reports Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Colorado plans to recall righty Peter Lambert from Triple-A Albuquerque to start tomorrow’s game in Miami instead.
Acquired from the Red Sox over the offseason, Seabold has started 13 of 20 outings during his first year in Colorado. His 72 2/3 innings are easily a career high and he’s third on the team in starts behind Austin Gomber and the currently-injured Kyle Freeland. The Rockies have plenty of pitching uncertainty, so they’ve been able to afford the 27-year-old his first extended look in a big league rotation.
To date, Seabold hasn’t taken advantage of the opportunity. He carries a 7.63 ERA as starter. Seabold is throwing a fair number of strikes but has gotten hit hard. He’s striking hitters out at a meager 15.1% clip and has surrendered 16 homers in 59 rotation innings (2.44 HR/9).
Seabold had a solid three-start run in early June, but his results since then have been alarming. He’s allowed six-plus runs in three of his last five outings. He failed to get past the fifth inning in any of them. The Yankees tagged him for six runs on as many hits in 2 1/3 innings in a 6-3 New York victory on Saturday, spurring the role change.
Lambert, a former second-round pick, started 19 games as a rookie four seasons ago. Injuries (most notably July 2020 Tommy John surgery) essentially ruined his next three campaigns. He’s worked in long relief for Colorado this season, tossing 34 1/3 frames over 16 outings. Lambert has only a 6.29 ERA of his own, though he’s at least striking hitters out at a decent 23.5% clip. Colorado optioned him early in the month to stretch back out as a starter in Albuquerque.
The 26-year-old has thrown 56 innings between the MLB and Triple-A levels this season. Saunders writes that the Rox are planning to keep him in the 100-120 range for the year. He should have a few chances to try to stake an early claim to a spot in a wide open Colorado rotation for 2024.
Gomber and Freeland (assuming he comes back as expected from a dislocation and small tear in his non-throwing shoulder) are the only two pitchers who seem to have holds on ’24 starting spots. Germán Márquez and Antonio Senzatela both underwent Tommy John surgeries this year. Márquez will be a free agent once Colorado buys out a $16MM option for next season; Senzatela is under contract but might not pitch at all next year. Of the other Rockies’ starters, only Ryan Feltner has an ERA below 6.00; he’s allowing 5.86 earned runs per nine over eight outings.