Rockies' Kyle Freeland out up to 6 weeks with elbow injury. He says pitch clock may have been factor

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DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland is expected to miss between one month and six weeks because of a strained left elbow and says the pitch clock may have been a factor.

Freeland said the elbow issue is not related to a right shoulder injury sustained this week during a collision at home plate as a pinch runner.

Atlanta’s Spencer Strider and Cleveland’s Shane Bieber are among the pitchers who will miss the season following elbow injuries.

“There has been a lot of talk about pitch clock and sticky stuff and how all that is correlating to this,” Freeland said Friday. “I’m a firm believer that there is something that correlates with pitch clock and pitchers. We are exerting our bodies at 100% every 15 to 18 seconds. You do that, it’s tough. You do that in Colorado, even tougher.”

Freeland said he worked over the offseason to gain velocity. His fastball this season averaged 90.2 mph, the same as last year but higher than in his previous six seasons.

“I do not know if that is any correlation to my injury. I really hope not, because I enjoyed that work process," Freeland said. "I thought it was very good for me and obviously put me in a good spot through spring training with my velocity where I wanted to see it. I really hope that didn’t play a factor, and when I come back it doesn’t hinder me at all.”

The 30-year-old left-hander was placed on the 15-day injured list Friday and reliever Noah Davis was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque before Friday night's game against Colorado was rained out and rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader Sunday.

“There are no tears in the UCL,” Freeland said. “From my understanding, it is an elbow strain and we are working through it.”

Colorado made the move retroactive to Tuesday.

“Relatively speaking, the results of the scan and the doctor’s report, he’s going to be OK,” manager Bud Black said.

Freeland dislocated his shoulder Monday in a ninth-inning collision with Philadelphia pitcher Jeff Hoffman, who was covering at the plate when his pitch got by catcher J.T. Realmuto.

Freeman said the elbow issue began the previous day, when he gave up four runs over five innings in a 5-0 defeat to the Blue Jays.

“It goes back to my start in Toronto,” Freeland said. “Had some discomfort late in my start. It came on gradually, basically from the fifth inning is when I started feeling some uncomfortableness in my forearm. Nothing that raised a huge flag for me. I’ve been sore in starts before later in games.”

Freeland is 0-3 with a 13.21 ERA in four starts. He felt soreness when he threw Wednesday and was examined Thursday after the Rockies returned to Denver.

Peter Lambert will take Freeland’s place in the starting rotation and pitch the second game of the doubleheader.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb