Kyle Freeland lands on IL but Rockies pitcher says injury was not related to base-running collision

The Colorado Rockies placed left-handed starter Kyle Freeland on the injured list on Friday because of a left elbow strain. The move comes just a few days after he was involved in a collision at home plate during a surprise pinch-running appearance.  

Freeland, 30, has not appeared in a game since that incident, which occurred during the ninth inning of Monday’s loss against the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s worth noting that, while Freeland suffered an apparent right shoulder injury on that play, he denied that his elbow injury had anything to do with that play. Rather, he said that he tweaked his elbow in Toronto, a series that has become notable for other reasons.

“Those kinds of people need to get their facts straight before they spin a narrative off into social media,” Freeland told Thomas Harding of of people connecting the collision to his current ailment. 

Nevertheless, here’s a look at the play in question:

Freeland was manager Bud Black’s choice for pinch-running because of a confluence of other maladies. Infielder Brendan Rodgers and outfielder Jake Cave were both dealing with illnesses. Outfielder Kris Bryant, meanwhile, had not yet been placed on the IL with his own ailment — a sore back resulting from a collision with an outfield wall. That left Black to choose between Freeland and backup catcher Jacob Stallings.

Freeland has started four times this season. He’s accumulated a 13.21 ERA (37 ERA+) and a 1.13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 15 2/3 innings. Interestingly enough, Freeland’s average fastball velocity had ticked up this year, averaging 92 mph compared to 88.8 mph last season, according to the data provided by Statcast.

In a corresponding move, the Rockies recalled right-hander Noah Davis. Davis, 27 come Monday, has appeared in nine career big-league games. He’s sporting a career 9.00 ERA with a 1.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

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