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Howard receives MLB call up to join Rockies

Sam Howard, Colorado Rockies

Former Cartersville High School southpaw Sam Howard was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday to join the major league Colorado Rockies.

The move came as left-handed relief pitcher Harrison Musgrave was placed on the bereavement list.

This will be Howard’s first appearance on the Rockies’ active roster. His last work with the Isotopes was June 2 against Fresno where he allowed three runs on four hits over five innings of work.

In nine starts this season with the Isotopes, Howard is 3-4 with a 4.68 ERA across nine starts. The 25-year-old, fifth-year pro who played at Georgia Southern University, has 33 strikeouts this season. He was a third round draft choice by the Rockies in the 2014 MLB draft.

Howard has a career minor league record of 29-33 with a 3.68 ERA in 513 innings. He has 97 starts in the minors since 2014 and will wear jersey number 61 for the Rockies.

After learning of the call up to the big leagues Howard told the Denver Post, ““I haven’t found my groove yet (in Triple-A) in terms of cashing in quality starts week after week, but it’s been a good learning experience because I faced some adversity early and I had to work on a couple things in my delivery.”

Howard was injured in April in a home plate sliding incident as a baserunner. As a result, he spent some time on the Isotopes’ disabled list. He has a low-90s fastball with a slider, curve, and a change-up in his repertoire.

“My slider’s been my strength, although I haven’t been throwing it as well to start this year,” Howard told Denver Post reporter Kyle Newman. “But I’ve been throwing my changeup well, fastball well, and I’m throwing a curveball now. I’ve actually been throwing (the curve) pretty well, and hitters have been taking it for a strike.”

Rockies manager Bud Black expects Musgraves back with the team by Wednesday, so time to work in Howard may be limited during this call-up. Musgraves has a 2.65 ERA in 15 innings this season with Colorado.

The Rockies close out a home series with the Arizona Diamondbacks Sunday afternoon and travel to Philadelphia to start a three-game set with the Phillies on Tuesday.

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