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Flande impressing with fortitude in rotation

Flande impressing with fortitude in rotation

DENVER -- While Rockies manager Walt Weiss wouldn't go as far as to announce that left-hander Yohan Flande is in line for more starts, he did say it's a telling sign he's "still around."

"He's done a nice job," Weiss said. "The thing that I'm impressed with, with Flande, is his ability to throw strikes. He attacks the strike zone. He's not afraid of the strike zone. He's got enough deception to make it tough on hitters."

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Flande wouldn't have even had an opportunity to make his Major League debut with the Rockies this season after nine years in the Minors if it wasn't for five starters in front of him landing on the disabled list.

Now, with right-hander Eddie Butler slow to regain his form following right rotator cuff inflammation and right-hander Jordan Lyles' fractured left hand taking longer to heal than expected, Flande looks to be in line for two more starts.

But in beginning his second stint with the Rockies' rotation Tuesday, Flande continued to show an inability to get through a lineup three times.

In his four starts with Colorado, Flande has been unable to make it further than the first out of the sixth inning, a fact Weiss is quite aware of.

"You try to keep an eye on him as he starts to get around that 80-pitch mark," Weiss said. "There seems to be a bit of a trend there the third time through [a lineup]."

For that reason, it seems Flande would be better suited for the bullpen long term. But Weiss isn't in the business of turning down starting pitching at the moment, especially with how banged up his staff is.

"That's an option, maybe, at some point," Weiss said. "It's tough to turn away starting pitching, so you don't ever want to do that, but you also want to put players in the best possible position to succeed."

Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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