Monday night’s game was supposed to be about the return of Nolan Arenado to Coors Field. A potential for Germán Márquez to record 11 strikeouts and become the all-time leader in the category for the Colorado Rockies also appeared as a top story.

Instead, there was no celebrating Colorado’s 7-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals after Márquez was removed from the game following an apparent injury to his right arm.

“Tightness in the mid forearm. I think you guys probably saw it on TV where he pointed to it,” manager Bud Black said post-game. “Took him out for precautionary reasons. Hope he’s gonna be fine. We think he is.”

The 28-year-old had thrown 62 pitches over five innings before catcher Elias Díaz gestured to the dugout for trainers and Black to check on his batterymate in the top of the sixth. The conversation on the mound was quick before the team deciding to remove him from the contest.

“I felt it between starts and I just felt it in the middle of my forearm,” Márquez said of the tightness. “I think I’ll be alright. Just tightness.”

Both Black and Márquez were quick to point out that a similar situation had occurred at the end of the 2019 season. Márquez was shut down following his Aug. 22 start that year against the Cardinals, coincidentally, and missed his final five starts of the season. He returned healthy in 2020 and made all 13 of his starts during the pandemic-shortened season in 2020.

Márquez feels better than he did four seasons ago with a similar injury to the elbow area, saying, “2019 was pain. Today I feel it’s sore.”

Apr 10, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez (48) pitches in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Though the details aren’t known yet, it’s unlikely that Márquez will make his next scheduled start on Sunday in Seattle, and he said as much in front of his locker Monday night. If Colorado needs a spot starter, they could look to long relievers Ty Blach and Connor Seabold. 

Of minor league options, only Noah Davis and Peter Lambert are starting pitchers on the 40-man roster. Davis has been able to go 8.0 innings over his two starts to a 4.50 ERA while Lambert is still stretching out (4.1 IP in two starts) following three injury-plagued seasons. 

Should the club prefer to promote another Triple-A option like Karl Kauffmann or Jeff Criswell, a corresponding move on the 40-man roster would be required.

Colorado’s Opening Day starter entered the game needing 10 strikeouts to tie Jorge De La Rosa with 985 strikeouts for the club record. He recorded four punchouts, and gave up three hits, surrendering two runs, in the process.

Even Nolan Arenado had words of praise for his former teammate. “He’s obviously had electric stuff. He does and I’ve always loved Marquez. I think he’s so talented,” Arenado offered before an 0-for-4 night. “To see him maintain that here is hard to do. Pitching in Colorado is not easy. It’s not easy physically, but it’s also not easy mentally, and for Marquez to stay strong mentally it shows how good he is.

Despite exiting early, Márquez earned the win and moved into sole possession of third-place in franchise history for pitcher wins with 65. 

“He’s been – since day one – an integral part of our starting rotation,” Black said of Márquez during the pre-game media scrum. “As the years have gone on, (he’s) sort of a foundation of our team.”

Diamond Details

  • Ezequiel Tovar went 2-for-4 with one run scored, two doubles and one RBI. Four of his eight hits this season have been doubles.
  • Alan Trejo matched a career high with three hits while scoring a run, knocking in two runs and taking part in two double plays on defense.
  • Kris Bryant extended his on-base streak to 18 games dating back to July 24, 2022 and has reached base in 48 of his 53 games played with the organization. He’s currently one of four players across MLB to reach base in 11 consecutive games in 2023.
  • Elehuris Montero went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, one double and one RBI.