8/6/2014 8:39 P.M. ET
Anderson placed on 15-day DL with back strain
By Cody Ulm / MLB.com
DENVER -- Each time the Rockies have begun to show a glimmer of health this season, a serious injury has been right around the corner to provide a crippling reality check.
Wednesday was no different either as the Rockies placed left-hander Brett Anderson on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain on the same day they activated right-hander Jordan Lyles (fractured non-pitching hand) to make his first start in over two months.
Anderson's injury occurred after he threw strike one to Arismendy Alcantara to start the fourth inning Tuesday. He was promptly pulled following a brief visit with the trainer and manager Walt Weiss didn't sound too optimistic about his outlook after the Rockies 6-5, 12-inning loss.
Anderson wasn't available postgame and also received treatment Wednesday. But Weiss' tune changed a bit after checking in with him.
"He's doing a little better today," Weiss said. "Hopefully he gets this over this soon, but with a back you never know. We're going to run some tests. He's walking today. Last night, he has having a hard time even walking."
Left-hander Franklin Morales, who was recently moved to back to the Rockies bullpen in anticipation of Lyles' return, took over for Anderson Tuesday and is the "most likely" candidate to fill his starting spot, according to Weiss.
Morales limited the Cubs to two hits and one run in three innings of relief Tuesday but owns a 5.08 ERA over 106 1/3 innings this season.
Anderson was in the midst of a one-hitter when the injury occurred. And since returning from the broken finger that cost him three months, Anderson had been the Rockies most dominant starter, compiling a 2.54 ERA and 24 strikeouts through five starts.
But just like the theme of the rest of his career, Anderson can't seem to catch a break, as he's only been able to give the Rockies 43 1/3 innings since being acquired from the Athletics last offseason.
"He's just frustrated," Weiss said of Anderson, who hasn't topped 100 innings since 2010. "He's had to deal with some freakish injuries the last couple years. Having to deal with a broken foot, a broken hand and now his back, it's a little out of the ordinary."
Brown recalled for relief; Pridie DFA'd
DENVER -- Tuesday's 12-inning tango with the Cubs coupled with left-hander Brett Anderson's early departure due to lower back spasms left the Rockies in a precarious position come Wednesday.
After Anderson left just one pitch into the fourth inning, manager Walt Weiss was forced to burn through every pitcher in his bullpen before left-hander Boone Logan gave up the go-ahead homer to Javier Baez in the 12th.
On Wednesday, the Rockies recalled right-hander Brooks Brown from Triple-A Colorado Springs to bring in a fresh arm for the beleaguered bullpen. And with Jordan Lyles already scheduled to return from his broken non-pitching hand, the Rockies were forced to designate outfielder Jason Pridie for assignment along with placing Anderson on the 15-day disabled list.
"We felt like protecting the 'pen tonight was a priority," Weiss said.
In the Rockies' third extra-inning game against the Cubs in less than a week, Weiss asked Franklin Morales, Matt Belisle, Adam Ottavino and Logan to each pitch more than one inning in relief. And if the Rockies had answered back in the 12th as they did in the 11th, Weiss had utility infielder Charlie Culberson up an throwing in the cage just in case.
"I asked him the last time he pitched [and] he said, 'High school,'" Weiss said. "I said, 'You're hired.' I thought he was going to tell me Little League or something. When he told me high school, it was a no-brainer."
Brown was called upon to begin his second stint with the Rockies on Tuesday to avoid emergencies like that, considering these teams have already played 11 extra innings in five meetings this season.
After making his Major League debut with the Rockies on July 6, Brown, 29, went 0-1 with a 7.56 ERA with two walks and eight strikeouts over 8 1/3 innings pitched.
Pridie, 31, was recalled from Triple-A on Aug. 2 to provide the Rockies with some outfield depth while Carlos Gonzalez battled an ankle injury. He saw action in two games, going 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Rox have no timetable for Gray's callup
DENVER -- Manager Walt Weiss has preached how important it is for the Rockies to teach their young pitchers to command the bottom of the zone early in their development processes before they get to Coors Field. He even admitted that in the effort to master the art of the groundball, Rockies pitching prospects must concede that a strikeout always isn't the best plan of attack.
But on Wednesday, Weiss revealed that right-hander Jon Gray is the exception to this tradeoff.
"We look at him as a power guy that's going to strike guys out," Weiss said. "I'm all good with that. When you're missing the bat, it's a good thing … We don't want to reinvent the wheel with him."
Gray, the Rockies No. 1-ranked prospect, has had an up-and-down season at the Double-A level this season, logging 3.0 strikeouts for every walk after registering a 6.38 ratio in his first year in the Minors.
Stats like such have led to some speculation that the team's organizational philosophies of pitching to the lower third of zone have hindered his development. But Weiss' words suggest otherwise, and according to the Rockies' skipper, he's passing the eye test.
"He commands the ball very well, especially for a young power pitcher," Weiss said. "When we talk about being able to get ground balls, it's about the ability and timing of being able to get it when you need it. That's a critical factor of guys who pitch here, but he's going to strike guys out and he's going to elevate some balls to get swings and misses and there's nothing wrong with that."
With the Rockies out of contention, Gray's debut watch has been in full effect. Yet a quick look at his three most recent starts suggests he needs more time.
Before limiting the Northwest Arkansas Naturals to just two hits and one run through seven innings his last time out, Gray had surrendered 13 hits and nine runs over his previous two outings (11 innings).
For that reason, Weiss is no closer to proclaiming when MLB.com's 14th ranked prospect will get the call to the Majors.
"I imagine he'll be here at some point," Weiss said. "I don't know whether it's this year or next year. I can't say when that might be."
Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.