By Jack Etkin
Right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez, whose career was derailed by Tommy John surgery, will return to the majors for the first time in nearly three years and make his Rockies debut Tuesday night. He takes the turn of Jeff Hoffman, who stumbled again in his latest attempt to stay in their rotation.
Looking to add pitching depth, the Rockies signed Gonzalez, 27, to a minor league contract on Dec. 3, and he has pitched at Triple-A Albuquerque this season. He will start against the Giants at Oracle Park on regular rest. It will be Gonzalez’s first appearance in the big leagues since July 7, 2016, with the Rangers. In 17 games, 13 starts, with Texas in 2015-2016, Gonzalez was 4-8 with a 4.54 ERA.
The Rockies optioned Hoffman to Albuquerque on Sunday when they added infielder-outfielder Garrett Hampson, giving the bench an extra player as regulars Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Ian Desmond, all dealing with nagging injuries, were not in the lineup for the series finale at Los Angeles.
Hoffman is 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA in seven starts with the Rockies. He made a spot start April 23 and was optioned to Albuquerque the next day. The Rockies recalled Hoffman on May 24, and he went 1-2 with a 6.67 ERA in six starts, allowing seven homers in 28 1/3 innings as opposing hitters batted .292 with a .960 OPS.
In his last start Thursday at Arizona, an erratic Hoffman lasted 2 2/3 innings, giving up one run on three hits and four walks with five strikeouts. He needed 82 pitches to get eight outs, threw two wild pitches and hit a batter.
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