22-year old Peter Lambert made his debut Thursday for the Colorado Rockies, showing a hint of what could be expected from the youngster when he is added to the starting rotation. The youngster dazzled in record-setting fashion in a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs, and helped the Rockies end their two game losing streak.
Minor League Star
Lambert is currently listed at number four for the Rockies on MLB.com’s 2019 Prospect Watch list. In 11 starts for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes this season, Lambert struck out 51 batters and had an ERA of 5.07. His opponents batting average was .264 while walking 16 batters. Peter’s record was only 2-2, but his performances in the minors the past two seasons were enough for General Manager Jeff Bridich and Manager Bud Black to call him up. He showed great command of four pitches in his arsenal – a mid-90’s fastball, a change-up, a slider and a curve ball.
Major League Debut
Against the Cubs on Thursday, Lambert showed mastery of all four pitches. He pitched seven innings and struck-out nine Cub hitters, a Colorado record for a Major League debut. Four of those strikeouts were inning-ending K’s. Even more impressive was that he only gave up one earned run and walked one batter as well. He dominated an impressive Cubs batting order, keeping their stars in check. Anthony Rizzo was hit-less with a strikeout, Kyle Schwarber went 1 for 4 and struck out twice, while Kris Bryant went 1 for 3 and scored Chicago’s only run. Javier Baez was the only Cub to get two hits against Lambert. Veteran catcher Chris Iannetta, who helped guide the young staff last season, was behind the dish again and helped keep the rookie calm. Lambert also had a good day swinging the bat as he got a single in his first at-bat.
Starting Rotation Help
Lambert’s call-up comes at a crucial time as the Rockies starting rotation is the biggest flaw for the team. Kyle Freeland, last year’s ace and Cy Young candidate, was sent to Triple-A last week. Tyler Anderson, another young stud last season, was also sent to Triple-A but will miss the rest of the season as he undergoes knee surgery. Only fireballer German Marquez and former ace Jon Gray remain on the staff from last season. Antonio Senzatela, who has had an up-and-down career the past two seasons, and recently recalled Jeff Hoffman round out the current rotation. Lambert would fit in nicely should he remain as another strikeout pitcher with Marquez and Gray. His next start would come on Tuesday, against the same Chicago Cubs he dominated today.
Peter Lambert provided the spark the Rockies needed to rejuvenate their starting rotation. Colorado will hope he can continue to have this kind of impact on his future starts.
Featured image courtesy of USA Today