Rockies reliever Justin Lawrence was removed from Friday night’s contest against the Giants with an injury to his left ankle. He was able to walk off the field, and following the game, manager Bud Black told reporters from MLB.com that Lawrence was likely to avoid a trip to the IL. That’s good news for the Rockies, who have dealt with more than their fair share of pitching injuries this year.
As Patrick Lyons of DNVR Rockies pointed out on Twitter, the team has already tied their franchise record for most starting pitchers used in a season. Starters Antonio Senzatela, Germán Márquez, Kyle Freeland, Austin Gomber, Chase Anderson, and Ryan Feltner have all spent time on the IL. So too have several notable relievers, including Daniel Bard, Brent Suter, Lucas Gilbreath, Tyler Kinley, and Nick Mears.
Overall, Rockies pitchers have the worst ERA in the sport. That’s not entirely surprising, considering they play in such a hitter-friendly stadium, but even park-adjusted statistics paint a dismal picture of Colorado’s pitching staff. They rank last in the majors with a 4.92 SIERA.
Lawrence has been one of the few bright spots for Colorado this season. He ranks second on the team with a 3.95 ERA (min. 40 IP) and third with 1.1 FanGraphs WAR. He has recorded 11 saves and given up just four home runs in 62 appearances out of the bullpen. His performance this year represents a marked improvement over his first two seasons; from 2021-22, he pitched to a 6.52 ERA in 57 games.
That said, the 28-year-old righty has run into a rough patch as of late. On August 15, he allowed five runs on seven hits in a disastrous ninth inning, blowing a save and taking the loss. He hasn’t seemed quite the same ever since, pitching to a 7.00 ERA and 5.15 SIERA over his last 11 games. If his ankle injury is indeed as minor as it seems, it could give him a chance to take a brief rest and reset before returning to the mound for the end of the season.