It’s been an up-and-down couple of weeks for Rockies pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman. He was sent down to Colorado’s minor league camp on March 10, only to get called back up the very next week for a Spring Training start with the big club. Thursday’s result, however, was another down note as the right-hander surrendered four runs on eight hits and did not get out of the third inning.

The ups and downs, Hoffman said postgame, are all a part of the process.

Jeff Hoffman postgame 03.17.16

“A big part of playing baseball professionally is trusting the process,” Hoffman said. “And that’s what I do. When I got sent down, I knew it was just to build my pitch count up because I’ve got to be ready for my season just like anybody up here [with the Major League roster].”

Hoffman attributed some of his struggles Thursday to over-striding and trying to make the correction to his mechanics too late.

The Rockies have high expectations for Hoffman, who was acquired in the trade with Toronto for Troy Tulowitzki.

The experience of being traded, he admitted, was a first for him coming out of the college ranks. But Hoffman said he was excited for the move when it happened.

Hoffman was one of three young pitchers with high-velocity arms included in the trade. Colorado is relying heavily on big arms like Hoffman’s to help build their staff for the future.

Another Rockies pitcher that is expected to be a key part of the team’s pitching staff in the future, Jon Gray, had a much better result on Thursday. He pitched four innings in relief, allowing no runs on three hits and striking out three.

Gray could break camp with the big club, although they could elect to hold him back at Triple-A, both for development and to keep his arbitration clock from starting. Gray is currently listed in the No. 5 spot on the Rockies starting pitching depth chart.

Hoffman could find himself in either Triple-A Albuquerque or Double-A New Britain to start the season. But make no mistake, there will be at least a few more ups and downs in the process of making it to the big leagues. Hoffman seems just fine with that.