Rockies: Helton, Hernandez rest; Colvin gets a start
Rockies manager Jim Tracy decided Wednesday to give veteran first baseman Todd Helton and catcher Ramon Hernandez extra rest by not starting them in Wednesday’s first game of a doubleheader against the Pirates at PNC Park. Jason Giambi started at first base and Willin Rosario was the catcher.
Game 1 also gave the Rockies an opportunity to start Tyler Colvin in center field. Colvin, hitting .323 in part-time duty, started instead of Dexter Fowler, who is at .224 after getting a hit in Tuesday night’s 5-4 loss to the Pirates.
“Hernandez and Helton, just because of the opportunity to give them a few more hours to recharge their batteries,” Tracy said. “I’m looking at our lineup in Game 1 and Game 2 and feeling real good about the fact that these lineups right here can win on any given day.
“I’m not taking anything away from Dexter because I’m using Dexter in the second game, but I want to keep Tyler Colvin in play and try to find him games to be involved in.”
Tracy said he plans to start left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who homered twice Tuesday night, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and right fielder Michael Cuddyer in both games.
Right-handed relief pitcher Zach Putnam, recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs as the 26th player (allowed under new Collective Bargaining Agreement rules for doubleheaders), will wear No. 54. Putnam was 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA, three saves, 11 strikeouts and three walks in five Triple-A appeareances. Last season, Putnam appeared in eight games with the Indians (1-1, 6.14 ERA, nine strikeouts, two walks), and came to the Rockies over the winter for pitcher Kevin Slowey.
The Pirates are a heavily right-handed hitting team, which plays into the hands of today’s starting pitchers, Juan Nicasio and Jhoulys Chacin. Nicasio has held right-handed hitters to a .226 career aveage in a big-league career that has consisted of 14 starts last year and three this yer, and Game 2 starter Jhoulys Chacin has held righties to a career .208 average. This year, righties are hitting .100 (3-for-30), the fourth-lowest average among right-handed pitchers in baseball.
Rockies, Game 1
Marco Scutaro, 2B (.224)
Tyler Colvin, CF (.323)
Carlos Gonzalez, LF (.278)
Troy Tulowitzki, SS (.293)
Jason Giambi, 1B (.273)
Michael Cuddyer, RF (.322)
Wilin Rosario, C (.261)
Chris Nelson, 3B (.239)
Juan Nicasio, RHP (1-0, 6.19 ERA)
Pirates, Game 1
Alex Presley, LF (.288)
Jose Tabata, RF (.196)
Andrew McCutchen, CF (.339)
Neil Walker, 2B (.222)
Casey McGehee, 1B (.289)
Pedro Alvarez, 3B (.108)
Clint Barmes, SS (.146)
Michael McKenry, C (.286)
James McDonald, RHP (0-1, 3.45 ERA)