It seems cruel to have to miss the rest of the season because of an injured toe, but that's the reality for Jordan Lyles. The Rockies announced earlier this afternoon that the medial collateral ligament as well as the capsule in Lyles' left big toe was damaged, and will undergo surgery to repair it. Lyles said "it's essentially Tommy John surgery for my toe" so at the very least, maybe we can start calling this Jordan Lyles surgery in the future.
He originally injured his toe in a game against the Giants, but tried to pitch through it in his last start in Philadelphia. In 49 innings this season, Lyles posted a 5.41 ERA, but a markedly better FIP of 3.76. The Rockies now have to figure out how best to replace Lyles, and have more than a few internal options.
The most tantalizing choice is Rockies' top prospect Jon Gray. His numbers don't look great at a first glance, but as our own Jordan Freemyer pointed out, that's largely due to his subpar April. Last month however was a different story, as Gray posted an ERA of 2.78 and a WHIP of 1.18. While his strikeout rates have decreased drastically over the past two seasons, his walk rate has been consistently great. A promotion to the big leagues would be very exciting for the Rockies and Gray, but beat reporter Nick Groke thinks they'll go another way.
@nlckstephens definitely a chance. I think Rusin is more likely tho...— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) June 3, 2015
This is Gray's first year at AAA, and has made just nine starts there. Colorado would probably like to hold off on starting his service clock, and could go with Chris Rusin, David Hale, Aaron Laffey, or John Lannan. Rusin and Hale are already on the 25-man, while Laffey and Lannan are both in AAA. However with Lyles headed to the disabled list, a roster spot will open up and make it easy to add another pitcher if they want.