The Spokane Indians have been directed by the Texas Rangers to use CD Pelham as a starting pitcher, according to pitching coach Joey Seaver. Pelham had worked out of the bullpen in his first eight starts to the season.
“The organization wants him to get some starts in, so he’ll be starting for us tonight and until I get further notice,” Seaver said before Saturday’s game. “It’ll be good for him.”
Pelham made his first-ever professional start on July 24 against Boise and made his second start on Saturday against Everett. He’s struggled in his new starting role, posting a 12.86 ERA in his two starts.
Pelham took Jacob Shortslef’s spot in the rotation, who still being evaluated after experiencing tenderness and inflammation in his throwing elbow. He will likely work out of the bullpen and be limited with a pitch count when he returns.
“We gave him a week to nine days totally off, he didn’t pick up a ball,” Seaver said. “We’re just gradually working him back. He’s been primarily throwing with our trainer Luke (Teeters).”
“If he told me he feels good today, he’ll be hot tomorrow,” Seaver added before Saturday’s game. “He’ll be on a pitch or innings limit for the next little bit, until we can make sure he’s healthy.”
Earlier in the season, the Indians “piggybacked” their No. 5 and No. 6 starters. It meant two pitchers would share the same spot in the rotation and when the other wasn’t starting, the other came in for him out of the bullpen.
Sal Mendez and Kaleb Fontenot shared the fifth spot and Kyle Cody and Reid Anderson shared the sixth, but now those spots are now held exclusively by Mendez and Cody.
The team is limiting Anderson after he started to feel tendinitis in his throwing shoulder earlier in the season.
“We’re taking it a little bit easier with him,” Seaver said. “One thing you don’t want, whether it be Reid or any other individual, is to go out there and only get two innings out of your starter. We just think it’s better right now to keep him in a relief role.”
The Rangers are watching Fontenot’s innings closely after pitching 107 innings at McNeese State in 2016, meaning he will see most of his work as a reliever for the remainder of the season.
As it stands now, this is what the Indians rotation looks like: No. 1: Pelham, No. 2 Tyler Phillips, No. 3 Nick Green, No. 4 Luke Lanphere, No. 5 Mendez, No. 6 Cody.
Last night: Spokane dropped it’s third-straight game and it’s second against Everett in the first half of the season. Read story.
Today: Spokane concludes a three-game series with Everett. It’s a 3:30 p.m. first pitch. Follow @joshhorton22 for live updates throughout the game.