Castellani's Time Has Come; Right-hander Replaces Injured Chi Chi Gonzalez in Rockies Rotation

Tracy Ringolsby

A second-round pick of the Rockies in 2014, Ryan Castellani has always been considered a prime prospect, but his development has been slowed by injuries and also an effort at one point to change his delivery from a three-quarter to over-hand motion.

The Rockies feel he is ready now.

With Chi Chi Gonzalez placed on the injured list with right biceps tendinitis, Castellani was added to the active roster Friday and will immediately step into the rotation. Castellani will start Saturday night's game in Seattle.

Castellani gets the call over Jeff Hoffman, who is currently in the Rockies bullpen and worked 1 2/3 innings on Monday and was credited with the victory in the Rockies 8-7 victory against San Francisco. 

Castellani is coming off a 2019 season in which he saw limited action for Triple-A Albuquerque because of right elbow surgery. He did, however, get in a full fall in the Arizona Fall League, where he went 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA, 20 strikeouts and seven walks in 16 2/3 innings.

“High School pitcher -- a lot of times that takes a little time to fully get grounded, to understand how you get your outs,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “With Ryan, a lot of it was his delivery, finding his correct arm slot that worked for him, and the mix of pitches -- what type of pitches that were best for him and what type of spin that he creates on his breaking pitches. Those things start to come together within the last year. He's worked awful hard.”

Castellani was on the Rockies taxi squad in their season-opening trip to Texas and Oakland before rejoining the Rockies team of reserves, which is working out daily at Metro State.

Gonzalez started Monday night against the Giants, and after working two easy innings, he gave up three runs in the third, and came out of a game the Rockies rallied to win 7-6. He, however, had stiffness the next day and it did not subside during the week. 

“It just didn’t resolve itself, so we decided to take a step back with Chi Chi,” said Black, who added that González stayed in Denver for treatment. “He's getting treatment, feels a little better today, hopefully each and every day he'll feel better and get back on the mound and work his way back to our active roster. In the meantime, we brought up Castellani.”

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