O’Dowd: Beimel likely to start year in Minors

Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd announced Tuesday, “Johnny Cash showed up. He’s dressed in black, ready to go.”

O’Dowd was referring to left-handed reliever Joe Beimel, who has agreed to a Minor League contract. As Beimel underwent his physical, O’Dowd said it was unlikely he’ll have time to be in Major League shape by the time the season starts on April 5.

“That might be what it turns out, but that’s not what we’re going into this for,” O’Dowd said. “I’m sure he’s going to think he’s going to be ready, but we’re not going to rush that at all.”

Beimel signed with the National last March 18 and made his first appearance on April 7. But that was a different situation.

“We’re trying to win a World Series,” O’Dowd said. “We’re not just trying to get a Major League pitcher. He has to be right to help us. We’ll put him in the best position to help our club and help himself.

“Joe had other options. I think he really wanted to come here.”

If Beimel begins in the Minors, the bullpen could be a short from the left side, especially if lefty Franklin Morales is the closer. Randy Flores, who returns today from six days off after being hit with a line drive, would be the only lefty setup man.

Flores’ injury highlighted how thin the Rockies were in left-handed relievers. After him, the only healthy lefty reliever in camp was Matt Reynolds, who hasn’t piched above Double-A. Now the Rockies are leaning toward giving Reynolds as much experience as possible in camp, but only taking him to start the season in the case of an emergency.

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