ST. LOUIS -- Left-hander Christian Friedrich, hit hard on his right calf by a batted ball in his most recent start, against the Padres on Saturday, had his next start pushed back a day, and will pitch on Thursday night in the finale of the four-game series with the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will start on Wednesday, manager Jim Tracy announced on Monday. San Diego's Logan Forsythe, the second batter in the top of the first inning on Saturday, hit a line-drive single off Friedrich's leg. Friedrich was able to fight through the pain, and finished with five strikeouts and no walks, holding the Padres to one run and five hits in five innings of the Rockies' 8-4 loss.
The Rockies are working in a four-man rotation, which means that Friedrich would have one fewer day of rest than normal. That could become a factor if the pain in Friedrich's leg doesn't allow him to throw normally. It's possible the Rockies could delay his next start even more and use someone else on Thursday. "The most important thing is making sure I'm not changing anything to alter my mechanics, because that's how people start getting hurt," said Friedrich, who played catch on Sunday to keep his arm loose, anticipating that his schedule would be altered. "I'm seeing how it feels. I've played catch pretty well." Friedrich backed off from a running session and rode the exercise bike Monday before receiving treatment. The decision also allows a fourth day off for left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who was strong on Sunday -- allowing one unearned run in six innings -- in his return from Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he pitched out of a five-man rotation. Pomeranz will start the opener of a three-game series in Washington on Friday night. Guthrie (3-7, 6.56 ERA) was the Rockies' Opening Day starter but was 3-6 in 11 starts at the time he was demoted and made a piggy-back reliever in the new rotation. Tracy said that Guthrie will not be under the same 75-pitch limit as the others in the current rotation. Tracy would not say if Guthrie is merely making a spot start or being given a chance to re-enter the rotation.