SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland is Colorado through-and-through.
In order to find his love for the Centennial state you need look no further than his right arm where you’ll find a tattoo of 5280 the Denver area code of 303 and the Rocky Mountains. All reminders of the place that means so much to Freeland.
“It’s Colorado. It holds a special place in my heart”, said Freeland when asked about his tattoo.
Freeland, who grew up in Denver and played his high school ball at Thomas Jefferson, was drafted by the Rockies in the 2014 draft. He made his first major league start on Opening Day at Coors Field in 2017.
“It was truly amazing”, Freeland says of the experience.
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“Bud (Black) giving me the opportunity to pitch opening day at home in front of my hometown is something I’ll never forget and I’ll cherish for a long time.”
“It’s pretty special and I’m very fortunate to have this spot where I get to pitch for Colorado, be in my hometown and have all my family and friends come to all the home games.”
Kyle Freeland of the Colorado Rockies delivers a pitch in the third inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 12, 2017 in Pittsburgh. (credit: Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Freeland won seven of his first 10 decisions, but that early-season success fizzled down the stretch as he lost his last four decisions. This season Freeland is hoping to avoid that late season burnout by reeling things back a bit in spring training.
“Last year for me it was kind of balls to wall really doing everything I could to make the team. This year I’m going to have the same mentality, same attitude, but at the same time on somewhat of the conservative side where I’m not going full bore all spring training.