The Rockies are turning to youth in an attempt to stabilize a rotation that has been highly unreliable and a major weakness.
Right-hander Alex White was activated to start Tuesday at San Diego. And left-hander Christian Friedrich will be activated to start there Wednesday in his major league debut. They will pitch the final games in a series that began with a 3-2 loss to the Padres when the Rockies were held to five hits, none after the sixth and four Padres relievers combined to retire the final 11 Rockies batters.
White, 23, has made 10 starts in the majors, including seven with the Rockies last year following a trade from Cleveland. White went 2-4 with an 8.42 ERA in those seven Rockies starts.
White was a candidate to make the Rockies' rotation in spring training. He began the season at Class AAA Colorado Springs, where he is 1-3 with a 2.92 ERA in five starts with eight walks and 21 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings. White was scratched from a start Sunday so he could pitch for the Rockies.
Friedrich, 24, was the Rockies' first pick and the 25th player taken overall in the 2008 draft. He is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in five starts with four walks and 27 strikeouts and 23 hits allowed in 30 innings.
White will start because Jeremy Guthrie (right shoulder sprain) is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list but not ready to return. Jhoulys Chacin (right shoulder inflammation) is also sidelined.
"Some unfortunate circumstances happened up here for me to be here," White said. "The thing is, it's just a good opportunity. I want to pitch well and be able to finish strong."
Manager Jim Tracy, who has seen video of White's pitching and spoken with Colorado Springs pitching coach Bo McLaughlin said, "He looks as under control as I've seen since we acquired him. I don't see the violence at the end of his delivery, trying to get the ball to the glove side."
Friedrich will take the spot in the rotation occupied by RHP Guillermo Moscoso, who was optioned to Colorado Springs on Saturday, one day after another poor start that left him 0-1 with an 11.57 ERA in two starts. Guthrie had been recalled when Guthrie went on the disabled list.
In his final start April 22 before being injured, Guthrie pitched seven innings and is the last starter to do so. In 13 subsequent games, the starters have pitched five or fewer innings nine times.
During that 13-game span, the starters are 1-5 with a 6.51 ERA and have averaged just over five innings per game.
So White and Friedrich could give the rotation and the team a welcome lift. The Rockies have lost a season-high four straight games and slipped a season-most four games below .500.