Kyle Freeland
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Rockies option Kyle Freeland

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The Rockies have optioned left-hander Kyle Freeland to Triple-A Albuquerque, the team announced Friday. In a series of subsequent roster moves, outfielder Yonathan Daza was also optioned to Triple-A, while right-hander Jesus Tinoco was recalled and southpaw Chris Rusin was reinstated from the 10-day injured list.

To say that the 26-year-old Freeland has not lived up to last year’s Cy Young-contending results is an understatement. The lefty is 2-6 in his first 12 starts of the 2019 season, with a 7.13 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, and 7.4 SO/9 through 59 1/3 innings — a far cry from the career-best 2.85 ERA and 4.2 fWAR he produced in 2018. He currently leads the National League in home runs allowed (16) and both leagues in runs allowed (47).

The Rockies appeared to reach their breaking point with Freeland following Thursday’s 11-10 win over the Diamondbacks. The pitcher lasted just three innings — his second-shortest start of the season to date — and gave up five runs and two homers while striking out just one of 14 batters. Per Thomas Harding of MLB.com, he’s also struggled with a finger blister this spring, as well as some issues with his arm angle and mechanics, all things he plans to address during his time in the minors.

A rotation replacement has yet to be announced.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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