Tyler Matzek has pitched like he can be a mainstay in the Rockies' rotation for years to come. He has one more month to prove his point, starting Friday when the 23-year-old is on the mound as Colorado kicks off a three-game series with the Padres in the Mile High City.
Friday will mark the 17th outing of Matzek's young career, which is not even three months old. The left-hander has been hit hard multiple times, but enters the start against San Diego coming off his two of his best starts of the season.
Matzek has gone seven innings and collected wins in each of his last two starts. His last outing was arguably his best of the season as he shut out the D-backs and gave up just three hits.
Matzek has pitched 91 Major League innings this season, but that number is 157 2/3 when his 12 Triple-A starts are factored in -- already the most of his professional career. Rockies manager Walt Weiss said there have been "no talks" about putting an innings limit on Matzek, who said he's in a good place physically.
"Arm feels fine," Matzek said last week. "I had a good offseason this past offseason and built my body up to feel strong, so I'm feeling pretty good right now."
While Matzek does not have too much Major League experience, he is familiar with the Padres, as this will be his third start against the division opponent. The first two outings have not gone so well for Matzek, as he's allowed 10 runs in 12 innings against them.
Eric Stults will get the ball for the Padres, and he's making his fourth start against the Rockies this season. Stults is 0-1 against Colorado in 2014 and carries a 3.78 ERA in his first trio of starts.
Overall, Stults is looking to rebound from two straight losses and will be hoping for more run support. The Padres have scored just two total runs in the left-hander's last two starts.
Padres: Cabrera staying in San Diego
Shortstop Everth Cabrera, on the DL with a strained left hamstring, will not accompany the Padres to Colorado, staying back in San Diego instead to continue his rehab.
Manager Bud Black said Cabrera probably will join the Padres in Los Angeles early next week, but he does not yet know when he will be activated.
"The final hurdle is a full-speed sprint," Black said. "He still feels it when he runs."
The Padres were hoping he was well enough to play in a Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore playoff game Wednesday night, but he still felt the injury, so he did not.
Rockies: Looking to avoid franchise's first 100-loss season
The Rockies' season is going to be over by the end of the month, and they don't want it to come to a close in a record-setting fashion.
Colorado enters the weekend with 84 in the loss column and 22 games left to play. No team in the franchise's 21-year existence has hit the triple-digit mark in losses, and while the Rockies don't have any postseason hopes, Weiss said hitting the 100-loss mark would "bother him."
"Regardless of how you slice it, when it's all said and done, it will be a disappointing year," Weiss said. "But 100 losses would be piling it on."
The Rockies and the Angels are the only two teams in the Majors to never have 100-loss seasons. The Rockies had their worst season two years ago when they finished 64-98 -- another low they're hoping to avoid this September.
• The Rockies' Ben Paulsen made his first career start in right field Wednesday, going 1-for-3 in a 9-2 victory against the Giants. Paulsen, who made his first 14 Major League appearances as a first baseman or pinch-hitter, is hitting .410 on the season.
• The Padres' Alexi Amarista had his 12-game on-base streak snapped Thursday, when he went 0-for-3.
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.