August 2009

De La Rosa tabbed for Tuesday start, rotation still not set

Rockies manager Jim Tracy decided not to bring in a starter to take the place of the injured Aaron Cook (right shoulder soreness) for Tuesday’s turn in the rotatoin. With the Rockies off on Monday, left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (12-9, 4.72 ERA) will start Tuesday’s opener against the Mets, followed by right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez and Jason Marquis. The next time the Rockies will need a starter is next Saturday at home against the D-backs.

Tracy said Cook, who received good news from last week’s MRI, will not be ready for next Saturday but could be ready thereafter. With manager Jim Tracy against using a reliever for a start — righty Josh Fogg’s start against the Dodgers on Wednesday did not go well — the starter will likely come from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Rockies not set on Tuesday starter

The Rockies have an opening in their pitching rotation and a day that they need one — Tuesday at home in the opener of a three-game set against the Mets. Manager Jim Tracy said he has determined who will start, but he knows who won’t: Josh Fogg.

Fogg, as Tracy noted, has been a valuable innings-saver in the bullpen in the long relief role. But filling in for the injured Aaron Cook Wednesdsay night, Fogg gave up six runs and four hits in three innings pitched in a 6-1 home loss to the Dodgers. Fogg had made 20 appearances, exclusively in relief, since being called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Tracy determined that Fogg is too conditioned to relief pitchng to be put back in a starting role.

“We’re better served with him serving in the role that he’s been serving in, as the savior of our bullpen, so to speak,” Tracy said before the Rockies opener of a three-game set against the Giants on Friday night. “He’s done such an incredible job in doing that for us. I think we really are doing him a disservice to send him out there to try to start games.”

The optons are to call up someone from the Minors, or smply skip the spot and allow left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to pitch on four days’ rest. Tracy said he is evaluating whether the other four members of the rotation would be better off pitching with normal rest or if an extra day would be beneficial. 

Earlier this post mentioned veteran Russ Ortiz, currently pitchng at Triple-A Colorado Springs, as a possibility. But Ortiz started tonight and went six innings, giving up five runs on eight hits in a loss. That would make him unlikely to pitch Tuesday on short rest. 

Facing ‘The Freak’

The Rockies are playing the machup game against Giants stalwart right-hander Tim Lincecum on Sunday afternoon.

Chris Iannetta is 6-for-9 with a home run and two doubles in his career against Lincecum. The unlikely starter is Omar Quintanilla (.174)who not only is 5-for-17 (.417) with an RBI. It’s just his fifth start of the season.

Cook heads to DL, other medical news

The Rockies placed pitcher Aaron Cook on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder on Satuday, a day after he left a start against the Giants after facing one batter in the fourth inning. But Cook’s situation is still shrouded in uncertainty. The Rockies will know more after seeing the results of Cook’s MRI on Monday.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Cook could be looking at something similar to the shoulder strain that left-hander Franklin Morales suffered early in the season, which could mean 3 1/2 weeks. That would mean the Rockies could be without their veteran starter until the middle of September, which is not exactly the prescribed way to fight for a playoff berth. As for Wednesday’s start against the Dodgers, Tracy confirmed that right-handers Adam Eaton and Josh Fogg are in-house candidates.

To replace Cook, the Rockies called up right-hander Matt Herges from Colorado Springs. Herges was one of the bullpen leaders during the 2007 run that landed the Rockies in the World Series. He began this season with the Indians.

In more positive medical news, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki returned to the club Saturday after spending much of Friday vomiting because of a bug he had. Tulowitzki is in the starting lineup, but the Rockies will keep a close eye on him.

But in a more ominous development, right-handed reliever Manuel Corpas, currently out after undergoing surgery to remove a bone chip from his throwing elbow, revealed that he underwent another surgery 10 days ago because of an infection in the forearm of that same arm.

To make room on the 40-man Major League roster for Herges, the Rockies moved Corpas to the 60-day DL.

After the arm and fingers swelled, doctors checked for other bone chips. Corpas has a device through which he is being administered antibiotics every 10 hours. Corpas said he hopes he could pitch in the playoffs, but he also said it’s possible the Rockies will shut him down and not allow him to pitch winter ball, as is often his custom.

Righty Juan Rincon, who is on the disabled list with right elbow soreness, had made two strong performances for Colorado Springs on a rehab assignment. Rincon said his rehab term expires Sept. 3, but he is hoping to be restored to the active roster once the limit is raised from 25 to 40 on Sept. 1.

 

 

Timlin moving closer

Veteran right-handed reliever Mike Timlin has been moved to Triple-A Colorado Springs after two appearances scoreless appearances for Rookie-level Casper.

Timlin, a veteran of 18 Major League seasons, last appeared in the Majors for the Red Sox during last year’s American League Championship Series against the Rays.

That will give Colorado Springs two experienced relievers in case of injury. Matt Herges, who began this season with the Indians, also is there.

Rockies drop Barmes to eighth, sit Hawpe

The hitting woes and defensive wonder of Clint Barmes are well-chronicled. Manager Jim Tracy admitted Thursday morning that he considered giving Barmes Thursday off against Phillies lefty standout Cliff Lee. However, the glove kept him on the field. Sinkerball specialist Aaron Cook is pitching for the Rockies, and needs top-notch defense.

However, Tracy dropped Barmes to eighth in the order.

He also gave a day off to All-Star right fielder Brad Hawpe, who has gone 5-for-31 (.161) on the current road trip.

Here are the lineups:

Rockies

Dexter Fowler, CF

Seth Smith, LF

Todd Helton, 1B

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Garrett Atkins, 3B

Ryan Spilborghs, RF

Chris Iannetta, C

Clint Barmes, 2B

Aaron Cook, P

Phillies

Jimmy Rollins, SS

Shane Victorino, CF

Chase Utley, 2B

Ryan Howard, 1B

Raul Ibanez, LF

Jayson Werth, RF

Pedro Feliz, 3B

Paul Bako, C

Cliff Lee, P

Tulowitzki at cleanup: a strategic tool

Rockies manager Jim Tracy placed shortstop Troy Tulowitzzi in the cleanup position for the second time this year and in his career for Tuesday night’s game with the Phillies.

Tracy did it during a recent series against the Mets, but that was because the offense had been struggling. Tuesday’s game was a strategic move to combat Phillies left-handed starter Jamie Moyer, not to mention a bullpen with just one lefty.

Tulowitzki is between the team’s most dangerous left-handed hitters, No. 3 hitter Todd Helton and usual cleanup man Brad Hawpe. That gives Moyer different looks. And if Phillies manager Jerry Manuel uses lefty Scott Eyre later against Helton, he’ll have a decision to make: keep Eyre against Tulowitzki before facing Hawpe or lose the possibility of a left-on-left matchup with Hawpe.

This could be a trend through the rest of the series, with the Rockies facing lefties J.A. Happ on Wednesday and Cliff Lee on Thursday. But don’t expect this move to become permanent.

“Actually, I’m very comfortable where ‘Tulo’ is at [normally] in the five spot in our order,” Tracy said.

Also, switch-hitting Dexter Fowler center fielder is leading off, right-handed hitting Ryan Spilborghs is in left field and right-handed hitting Garrett Atkins is at third base.<p>

Here are the lineups:

Rockies

Dexter Fowler, CF

Clint Barmes, 2B

Todd Helton, 1B

Brad Hawpe, RF

Ryan Spilborghs, LF

Garrett Atkins, 3B

Chris Iannetta, C

Jason Hammel, P

Phillies

Jimmy Rollins, SS

Shane Victorino, CF

Chase Utley, 2B

Ryan Howard, 1B

Raul Ibanez, LF

Jayson Werth, RF

Pedro Feliz, 3B

Carlos Ruiz, C

Jamie Moyer, P

Beimel arrives, Rincon hits DL

Newly acquired lefty Joe Beimel arrived just in time for batting practice before Saturday night’s game with the Reds and donned No. 97 for the first time. Beimel, 32, was acquired in a deal for two Minor Leaguers on Friday.

Upon his arrival, the Rockies placed righty Juan Rincon on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow soreness. Beimel became sore after giving up three hits and a run iun two innings against the Mets on Wednesday. He threw with head athletic trainer Keith Dugger on Saturday afternoon before the club annonuced its decision.

Here is the Rockies’ official press release.

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