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Former Eastern Kentucky University All-American Christian Friedrich has been summoned from Triple-A Colorado Springs to join the Colorado Rockies this week. The left-handed pitcher will make his Major League debut on Wednesday in an afternoon game against the San Diego Padres.
Friedrich has been very effective at the Triple-A level this spring, compiling a 2-1 record in five starts with a 3.00 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 27 strikeouts compared to only four walks. Opposing batters are hitting just .213 against him.
The native of Evanston, Ill. will be looked upon to upgrade a Colorado rotation that has been beset by injuries and recent ineffectiveness. According to the team’s website, the Rockies starters’ 5.68 ERA and .308 opponent batting average are the highest in the National League. Right-handers Jeremy Guthrie and Jhoulys Chacin are out with shoulder injuries, and right-hander Guillermo Moscoso was recently sent back to Colorado Springs following two choppy performances.
Friedrich became the first EKU baseball player ever selected in the first round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft when the Rockies selected him as the 25th overall pick in 2008. That came after a stellar career at EKU in which he hurled a no-hitter as a freshman and was named OVC Pitcher of the Year while compiling a miniscule 1.43 ERA as a junior.
Friedrich is the sixth former Ohio Valley Conference player currently in the MLB, joining George Sherrill (Austin Peay, pitcher, Seattle Mariners), Matt Reynolds (APSU, pitcher, Colorado Rockies), A.J. Ellis (APSU, catcher, Los Angeles Dodgers), Shawn Kelley (APSU, catcher, Seattle Mariners) and Jon Rauch (Morehead State, pitcher, New York Mets). Both Ellis and Rauch played high school baseball in Kentucky at Paul Laurence Dunbar and Oldham County respectively.