NEW YORK -- With Jhoulys Chacin having returned from the disabled list, Colorado is back to a five-man rotation. But don't expect that 75-pitch limit to go away any time soon.
Manager Jim Tracy has limited his starting pitchers to just 75 pitches since mid-June, a move designed to correspond with the team's shift to a four-man rotation. Though it may seem atypical from an outsider's perspective, Tracy says the pitch limit forces his starters to be efficient.
"What's abnormal about it? We just had a guy go out there the other day and complete six innings, and of the pitches that he threw, 51 of the 73 were strikes," Tracy said, referring to Chacin's one-run effort in Tuesday's 6-2 win over the Mets. "In my opinion, that's quality Major League pitching."
The downfall of the system lies in the length of outings -- starters simply can't go deep into games with a low pitch limit. But Tracy's mindset remains the same: if the pitching is solid, the limit should have no effect on his starters and will keep Colorado competitive.
"Being average is not something that I'm real interested in, and I'm not interested in it for this organization either," Tracy said. "In order to not be average you have to have a group of pitchers who go out there and understand what quality Major League pitching is all about. That's the message we're trying to instill here."
"If they go out there and do it right, they can pitch deep. I can promise you that."
Dexter Fowler is listed as day to day after spraining his right ankle in the fourth inning on Wednesday, but he was able walk without crutches or an air cast Thursday afternoon.
Josh Rutledge is also listed as day to day with lingering tightness in his left quad. Rutledge hit a pinch-hit RBI double in the ninth inning on Wednesday, but he was clearly in pain trotting into second base before being replaced by a pinch-runner.
With September callups around the corner, Tracy said its unlikely that either Fowler or Rutledge will hit the disabled list.
Adam Rosenbloom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.