Riley Pint, Peter Lambert progressing down on the farm

Rockies manager Bud Black is surely hoping Riley Pint and Peter Lambert, the team’s best pitching prospects in the minors, will eventually make an impact for Colorado in the big leagues. (Andy Cross / The Denver Post)

As a franchise, the Rockies have made a habit of developing starting pitchers in the minors, grooming the arms of Kyle Freeland, Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela and Chad Bettis to produce a homegrown big-league rotation.

The depth of arms on the farm continues to hold true with 20-year-old Riley Pint (Class-A Short Boise) and 21-year-old Peter Lambert (Triple-A Albuquerque) headlining as the team’s best pitching prospects.

Pint, drafted No. 4 overall by the Rockies in 2016, has been to the disabled list a couple times this season. Even so, he continues to progress. After suffering a minor forearm injury in the season opener with Class-A Asheville, he returned to Boise and threw well in two outings before a strained oblique sidelined him again.

Now, he’s throwing at 75 feet and will get back on a mound soon, and is expected to return to the Hawks’ rotation at some point this season.

Plus, as Rockies’ Director of Pitching Operations Mark Wiley explained, Pint’s injuries this season allowed the Colorado coaching staff to recalibrate his mechanics.

“When he went on the D.L. this year, we rehabbed him and put him on a throwing program, and it gave us extra time to work on his delivery and his stride direction,” Wiley said. “We got his delivery a little more under control, and a little more compact so it wasn’t quite as spread out, so he could maintain good lines to the plate. That extra work really paid off.”


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And with Lambert, promoted to the Isotopes from Double-A Hartford on June 30, the righty’s maturing changeup has the Rockies feeling hopeful.

“He’s one of those guys who really had a vision of his changeup coming in, has confidence in his changeup and it’s already a very important pitch for him all the way through the game,” Wiley said. “In that way, he’s a little above the curve on the changeup than some of our other guys in the past have been.”

Lambert’s fastball has already increased significantly since being selected in the second round (No. 44 overall) in the 2015 draft. His heater averaged around 89-91 mph then; now, it sits around 93 but he can crank it up to as high as 96 “when he wants to go get something extra to make a pitch.

“He has a good feel for pitching, for mixing his pitches, for being able to recognize the hitters’ weaknesses and being able to execute big pitches,” Wiley said. “But you really do’t know until a guy progresses through the system where his velocity’s going to go, and for Peter, it’s continued to improve.”

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