Originally written on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 8/6/12

Christian Friedrich's performance has been up and down during his rookie campaign. His ERA? Mostly up. The news that he is now lost for the season with a stress fracture in his back doesn't hurt him as much as it will Jim Tracy as he tries to manage more awful starting pitching.

Friedrich's body will heal and he has some success now to build on as he tries to further develop his game and build a major-league career. There is enough of a foundation there. His stuff can be more than good enough at times. He just was too hittable too often, which, with the news of his injury, makes you wonder how much of that was health-related.

Friedrich was productive or excellent in five of his 16 starts this season. The 25-year old lefty has to first rehabilitate his body, again examine his mechanics, then develop ones that will allow him to stay healthy. After that, he has to find ways to miss more bats (102 hits in 84 2/3 innings), issue fewer walks (six times he walked three or more in a game) and make batters hit leaner (as in not fat) pitches. Make them hit his pitch, not theirs.

Friedrich finishes his year at 5-8 with a 6.17 ERA.

With so many injuries to starters this season, Tracy will have to dig deeper down the depth chart for pitching and that means more beatings by opposing lineups.

The surprising fact is that with historically bad pitching, numerous injuries (including to positional players), the Rockies still are unlikely to pick first in the June 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, with Houston parting out its most marketable players and purposely tanking for the right to select no. 1 overall.

Interesting Friedrich numbers

When Friedrich worked batters into an 0-2 hole, he never allowed a hit or walk and struck them out 17 times.

He posted an 8.92 ERA at Coors and yet a respectable 3.77 on the road.

His best month, unfortunately, was May, when he has a 4/1 K/BB rate and only two homers allowed in 29 innings. His ERA, however, was still 5.59.

Swanner and Story write-up

Baseball America published stories on attractive Low-A Asheville prospects Will Swanner and Trevor Story. You have to subscribe to access the pieces.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Colorado Rockies Analyst, Colorado Rockies Prospects (2).

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