DENVER -- After a promising 4-1 start to his career, the Rockies fear Christian Friedrich might have hit a wall.
The rookie left-hander is 1-3 with a 7.77 ERA this month. Since June 10, he's won two games.
"You have to get him over this hurdle," manager Jim Tracy said Saturday after Friedrich gave up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Reds.
Friedrich has a history of flattening out midway through the season. The last two years with Double-A Tulsa, he was limited by elbow injuries. The 25-year-old says it's about finding a balance between staying conditioned and getting rest.
"You don't work out as much during the season to help your body," he said Sunday. "But then you break down a little bit because you aren't [working out]."
Such fatigue issues mirror Friedrich's outings. Friedrich has struggled in his second time working through a lineup, where opposing hitters are batting .355.
"That is the bugaboo for him," Tracy said. "That's what gets him into trouble. ... It's really difficult to be successful when you're removing your starting pitcher before 15 outs have been recorded."
Tracy dismissed the suggestion that Friedrich, right now, would be best suited in a piggy-back bullpen role rather than in the Rockies' four-man rotation. Friedrich is still scheduled to start Thursday against the Cardinals, which he plans to prepare for by doing less.
"I'm going to go easy on my core," he said. "I need to strengthen the smaller muscles there, and to do that I need to give myself some rest."