WASHINGTON -- The Rockies' pitching plan coming out of the All-Star break will give rookie left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who has not given up an earned run in 12 1/3 innings in two starts after his return from Triple-A Colorado Springs, and veteran lefty Jeff Francis an extra day's rest on the first turn. The key to the rotation strategy is Pomeranz (1-3, 3.06 ERA). Rockies are operating on a four-starter system, but Pomeranz had been throwing in a five-man rotation at Triple-A Colorado Springs and has yet to throw with one fewer day of rest. His first turn on three days' rest will be July 24. Rookie left-hander Christian Friedrich (4-6, 5.98) will throw the first game out of the break, next Friday against the Phillies. Jeremy Guthrie (3-8, 6.28 going into Sunday's final game before the break, against the Nationals) and Pomeranz will throw the final two games of that series.
Following that set is a three-game series with the Pirates. Starters will be Francis (2-1, 5.16 going into Saturday against the Nationals), Friedrich and Guthrie. The Rockies are not scheduled to play on July 19, which means Pomeranz and Francis will get the extra day. Entering the season, the Rockies were looking for ways to monitor the workload of Pomeranz, who is in just his second year of professional baseball. The Indians selected him in the first round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft, but he didn't pitch until Spring Training 2011. Pomeranz finished the year in the Majors with the Rockies, who acquired him as part of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, but he didn't have a full year of pitching. Pomeranz didn't sign his first pro contract until August 17, 2010, so Major League rules didn't allow him to be officially traded until a year past that point. The trade took place on July 31, 2011, but Pomeranz had to wait until his anniversary date to pitch. After his first game at Double-A Tulsa, Pomeranz underwent an emergency appendectomy. After recovering, he pitched one more game for Tulsa, then made his Major League debut on Sept. 11. In all, Pomeranz entered 2012 with 119 1/3 pro innings. He is at 82 innings at the break this season, including 31 1/3 in the Majors.