The left forearm tightness that Rockies Jorge De La Rosa has experienced while working his way back from elbow surgery has led the team to halt his rehab assignment, the team announced Saturday.
Technically, the Rockies recalled De La Rosa from his 30-day rehab assignment, which would have expired on May 27 and would have had him targeted to start in the Manors against the Dodgers on June 2. De La Rosa is frozen for seven days, then can be placed on the DL for forearm tightness and begin a new 30-day window.
De La Rosa was 5-2 with a 3.51 ERA when he underwent Tommy John surgery. In an odd pattern, De La Rosa experienced no tightness when he began throwing during extended spring training at the team’s complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., and was fine during two rehab starts at Class A Modesto. But De La Rosa’s first start at Double-A Tulsa on May 12 limited him to one inning. He threw four innings Thursday and experienced tightness at the end.
A frustrated De La Rosa at Coors Field on Saturday angrily threw his T-shirt at the end of a workout, but calmed down and said he understood.
“It’s very disappointing,” said De La Rosa, who would have started at Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday. “I pitched good last time but I felt a little tightness. They want me to pitch more time in the Minors. I have to do whatever they want.
“I want to be here, but like they say, I need more time. I have to pitch more, build more pitches, to be ready to be here. They want to make sure everything is OK. It hasn’t been a year since I had the surgery. They know how hard it is.”
Had De La Rosa made the June 2 target date, he would have been back a year short of the date of last year’s surgery. But rarely does a comeback from Tommy John surgery go so smoothly.
“I still don’t think that this is any big thing,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “It’s just another avenue in the road that you have to go down as you’re recuperating.”
Going into the season, the Rockies were hoping for solid work from a relatively young rotation that would get a lift from De La Rosa’s return. Jeremy Guthrie, a veteran added during the winter, missed three starts in April and May with a shoulder injury. Jhoulys Chacin, expected to make major strides, tried to pitch through shoulder tightness, performed badly and hasn’t pitched in a game since May 1. Now on the disabled list, Chacin isn’t throwing because he needs to strengthen his shoulder.
For the Rockies to turn the corner after their 15-23 start going into Saturday’s game with the Mariners, much of the responsibility falls to three young pitchers, second-year righty Juan Nicasio and two rookies, righty Alex White and lefty Christian Friedrich, who was set to start Saturday. Guthrie and lefty Jamie Moyer are the staff’s veterans.
The idea that outfielder Tyler Colvin is strictly a backup for the Rockies could be changing.
Colvin started in center field, instead of Dexter Fowler, on Saturday against the Dodgers, and manager Jim Tracy said Colvin — hitting .314 with two home runs and 10 RBIs – has earned greater opportunity to start. The Rockies aren’t going away from left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who leads the team in home runs with seven and RBIs with 26, or right fielder Michael Cuddyer, who is hitting .286 with four homers and is tied with first baseman Todd Helton for second in RBIs with 21.
That means Colvin’s starts will come at the expense of Fowler, who is hitting .223 with four homers and 14 RBIs.
Fowler has a .311 on-base percentage and 27 strikeouts in 94 at-bats, and has had two errors and a couple of defensive miscues. Actually, Colvin has an outfield error and 19 strikeouts in 51 at-bats, so he has statistical challenges as well.
“In any given situation he’s made the most of it, whether it’s starting a game, coming off the bench,” Tracy said. “We’ve gotten quality at-bats from him as a starter. He’s done a terrific job as a left-handed pinch-hitter.
“You’ve got to get him out there tonight. He’s pushing the envelope for more time. When a player does that, you have to be mindful of it and create additional opportunities for him to play. He is making a strong statement for himself to get more at-bats than he’s gotten to this point. We’re doing what’s in his best interest and also our baseball team’s best interest in getting him additional opportunity.”
2B Marco Scutaro
3B Jonathan Herrera
LF Carlos Gonzalez
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Todd Helton
RF Michael Cuddyer
CF Tyler Colvin
C Wilin Rosario
RHP Juan Nicasio
SS Dee Gordon
2B Mark Ellis
CF Matt Kemp
RF Andre Ethier
LF Bobby Abreu
3B Juan Uribe
1B James Loney
C A.J. Ellis
RHP Aaron Harang
Rockies fans saw right-hander Alex White late last season. They saw him give up 12 home runs in 36 1/3 innings.
But if what Rockies manager Jim Tracy saw when he was able to catch some of White’s work when he pitched at Triple-A Colorado Springs during the early part of this season, fans can forget about the Alex White they saw last year. The new White, Tracy hopes, will be revealed tonight against the Padres.
“I don’t know how this is going to play out, but I’ve seen him on television in some of these starts that he’s had in Triple-A,” Tracy said. “If that guy shows up, you’ll see a different pitcher than you saw last September and you’ll see a different guy than you saw last September.
Here are the lineups:
1. Marco Scutaro, 2B (.266, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
2. Jordan Pacheco, 3B (.154, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
3. Carlos Gonzalez, LF (.320, 7 HR, 26 RBIs)
4. Troy Tulowitzki, SS (.266, 3 HR, 13 RBIs)
5. Todd Helton,1B (.233, 4 HR, 20 RBIs)
6. Michael Cuddyer, RF (.275, 3 HR, 18 RBIs)
7. Ramon Hernandez, C (.279, 4 HR, 14 RBIs)
8. Tyler Colvin, CF (.289, 2 HR, 10 RBIs)
9. Alex White, RHP (2012 debut)
1. Will Venable, RF (.236, 1 HR, 2 RBIs)
2. Cameron Maybin, CF (.220, 1 HR, 9 RBIs)
3. Chase Headley, 3B (.255, 4 HR, 16 RBIs)
4. Yonder Alonzo, 1B (.283, 0 HR, 6 RBIs)
5. Mark Kotsay, LF (.276, 1 HR, 6 RBIs)
6. Orlando Hudson, 2B (.211, 1 HR, 8 RBIs)
7. John Baker, C (.091, 0 RBI, 1 RBI)
8. Jason Bartlett, SS (.141, 0 HR, 4 RBIs)
9. Jeff Suppan (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Here is the official press release from the Rockies on Saturday:
DENVER – The Colorado Rockies announced today that the club has optioned right-handed pitcher Guillermo Moscoso to Triple-A Colorado Springs. The Rockies have also placed outfielder Eric Young Jr. on the bereavement list today. To replace Moscoso and Young on the active roster, Colorado has recalled right-handed pitcher Adam Ottavino and infielder/catcher Jordan Pacheco from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Both Ottavino (#37) and Pacheco (#22) will be in uniform and available for today’s Rockies vs. Braves game at Coors Field (6:10 p.m. MDT).
Ottavino, 26, was claimed off waivers by Colorado from St. Louis on April 3rd and immediately optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs. The right-hander has appeared in 10 games, all in relief, for the Sky Sox this season. He has no record with a 3.60 ERA (15.0 ip, 6 er), 7 walks and 20 strikeouts in his 10 games. Ottavino made his Major League debut with St. Louis last season, where he went 0-2 with an 8.46 ERA (22.1 ip, 21 er), 9 walks and 12 strikeouts in five games/three starts. He was originally selected in the first round (30th overall) of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Northeastern University by the Cardinals. The New York native was strictly a starter in the Cardinals organization, but was moved to the bullpen once he joined the Rockies organization in April.
Pacheco, 26, was a member of the Rockies Opening Day roster in 2012 before being optioned to Triple-A on April 15th. In five games for the Rockies in 2012 Pacheco has hit .200 (2-for-10) with one triple and one run scored. Pacheco has batted .433 (29-for-67) with 4 doubles, 3 home runs and 10 RBI in 17 games for the Sky Sox this season. The Albuquerque native made his Major League debut in September, 2011 and hit .286 (24-for-84) with one double, 2 home runs and 14 RBI in 21 games for the Rockies.
Moscoso, 28, was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on April 28th to take the roster spot of Jeremy Guthrie (15-day DL with right shoulder sprain). Moscoso made two starts for the Rockies, going 0-1 with an 11.57 ERA (9.1 ip, 12 er), 4 walks and 10 strikeouts. The right-hander began the season at Triple-A, where he went 1-3 with a 7.91 ERA (19.1 ip, 17 er), 4 walks and 19 strikeouts in 4 starts. Moscoso was acquired by Colorado along with left-handed pitcher Josh Outman from Oakland on January 16th in exchange for Seth Smith.
Young, 26, made his first Opening Day roster in 2012 and has hit .286 (6-for-21) with one double, one triple, 2 RBI, 9 runs scored and 4 stolen bases in 21 games this season. 2012 marks the fourth-straight season that Young has appeared in the Major Leagues with Colorado. He owns a .248 (111-for-448) career batting average with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 1 home run, 21 RBI, 76 runs scored and 52 stolen bases in 179 career Major League games. Young will not be eligible to come off the bereavement list until Tuesday. Young cannot miss more than seven games while on the bereavement list.
The Rockies have a full 40-man roster.
This has been a beautiful day in Denver. The temperature on the Coors Field scoreboard reads 86, the breeze is gentle.
But forgive Braves pitcher Tim Hudson if he thinks he has just arrived at prison and the Rockies’ Todd Helton is the warden.
Hudson is 0-2 with a 7.77 ERA in four career starts at Coors. And Helton is 9-for-1o against Hudson at his home.
What’s funny is the numbers are the total opposite at Turner Field, where Helton is 4-0 with a 1.84 ERA in four career starts against the Rockies, and has held Helton to 1-for-5.
The Rockies have brought up onetime White Sox right-hander Carlos Torres, who went 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Torres, 29, will be used as a long man in the bullpen. Depending on how he’s used the next couple of days, he could be called upon to start Tuesday against the Padres if right-hander Jeremy Guthrie is not ready to return from a recent shoulder injury.
Guthrie, by the way, threw a touch-and-feel bullpen session today and will face hitters at Coors before Saturday night’s game with the Braves.
Braves veteran Chipper Jones announced this spring that this would be his final season. He’s going out with a blast. The Braves have gone 11-2 with him in the starting lineup and Jones has had at least one hit in eight of those 13 starts. He’s hitting second for the Braves tonight.
As Mark Bowman of MLB.com notes, Jones batted just .191 with a home run and a .623 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) in his first 11 regular season games at Coors Field. Since then, however, Jones has batted .356 with 11 home runs and a 1.104 OPS in his past 46 road games against the Rockies. No wonder he has shaken off a sore left knee to be in the lineup tonight.
Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler grew up in the Atlanta area, and the stats suggest he still loves the Braves. Fowler has batted .306 in 20 career games against the Braves. Helton (.332), the sizzling Carlos Gonzalez (.318) and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (.311) also are better than .300 against the Braves.
Now for the lineups.
1. Michael Bourn, CF (.321, 0 HR, 6 RBIs)
2. Chipper Jones, 3B (.273, 4 HR, 14 RBIs)
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B (.280, 4 HR, 19 RBIs)
4. Brian McCann, C (.241, 5 HR, 14 RBIs)
5. Dan Uggla, 2B (.265, 3 HR, 15 RBIs)
6. Jason Heyward, RF (.272, 2 HR, 11 RBIs)
7. Eric Hinske, LF (.357, 0 HR, 4 RBIs)
8. Jack Wilson, SS (.138, 0 HR, 3 RBIs)
9. Tim Hudson, RHP (1-0, 3.60 ERA)
1. Marco Scutaro, 2B (.275, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
2. Jonathan Herrera, 3B (.265, 1 HR, 3 RBIs)
3. Carlos Gonzalez, LF (.310, 7 HRs, 23 RBIs)
4. Troy Tulowtizki, SS (.280, 3 HR, 13 RBIs)
5. Todd Helton, 1B (.236, 4 HR, 17 RBIs)
6. Michael Cuddyer, RF (.282, 2 HR, 12 RBIs)
7. Ramon Hernandez, C (.279, 4 HR, 14 RBIs)
8. Dexter Fowler, CF (.240, 4 HR, 11 RBIs)
9. Guillermo Moscoso, RHP (0-1, 10.80 ERA)
Right-handed pitcher Carlos Torres, who pitched for the White Sox in 2009 and 2010 and spent last season in Japan and has made five starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs, will join the Rockies on Friday for the weekend series with the Braves at Coors Field.
Torres, 29, who was 1-3 with a 6.86 ERA in 13 games including six starts with the White Sox, takes the roster spot of right-handed pitcher Jhoulys Chacin, who was sent down to Colorado Springs on Wednesday.
Torres is 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA in five starts for the Sky Sox. He has 25 strikeouts against 11 walks, with five of those walks coming in his first outing of the season.
The Sky Sox had scheduled him to start Friday night’s game at Sacramento.
Last season, Torres went 1-2 with a 6.26 ERA in six starts for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.
For now the Rockies plan to use Torres as a long man out of the bullpen. It’s not clear who will start Monday night, which would have been Chacin’s next turn.
The Sky Sox replaced Torres with Brandon Hynick, a onetime prospect who threw a perfect game for the Sky Sox in 2009. Hynick was traded to the White Sox in late 2009 for right-handed pitcher Jose Contreras. Hynick rejoined the Rockies’ organization after being released by the Reds this spring, and has been pitching at the Rockies’ extended spring training.
In another move, left-handed hitting outfield prospect Charlie Blackmon was placed on the Colorado Springs seven-day disabled list with turf toe in his right big toe. It was the same injury that helped short-circuit his chances of making the Rockies during Spring Training.
Blackmon is hitting .203 with one home run and five RBIs in 17 games since being activated.
Dodgers left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly, 36, would be considered an old veteran if he weren’t in the same park as the Rockies’ Jamie Moyer, 49. Just call Lilly a younger version.
Lilly confounds the Rockies. he is 8-2 with a 3.84 ERA in 12 carer starts against them. His start against them tonight comes at a time when the Rockies are struggling to hit any pitcher like him. As the Denver Post’s Troy Renck reported today, Rockies third baseman Chris Nelson is 9-for-19 against lefty starters this season. The rest of the Rockies’ regulars, however, are 29-for-150 so far.
“He has some similarity to our left-hander by the name of Moyer,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “Ted Lilly is a very intelligent pitcher. He has tremendous know-how. He’s not going to give in. Sitting on pitches against Ted Lilly is not a real good thing to do, because he’ll throw any pitch in any count. That’s what makes him successful. He’s very confident that he can do that, especially in hitter’s counts.”
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has especially struggled against lefty starters this year — 3-for-21.
Still, the Rockies want the bat in Tulowitzki’s hands. Seven of Tulowitzki’s 13 RBIs have put the Rockies in the lead. The only players with more game-winning RBis are a pair of Dodgers — Andre Ethier (9) and Matt Kemp (8).
In an interesting lineup move, Eric Young Jr. will start in center field in place of Dexter Fowler and bat leadoff, with second baseman Marco Scutaro dropping from first to second. The switch-hitting Young is 2-for-4 with a triple against lefty pitchers, starters or relievers, this season.
Dee Gordon, SS (.207, 0 HR, 4 RBIs)
Mark Ellis, 2B (.247, 0 HR, 2 RBIs)
Matt Kemp, CF (.417, 12 HR, 25 RBIs)
Andre Ethier, RF (.276, 5 HR, 24 RBIs)
James Loney, 1B (.232, 1 HR, 6 RBIs)
Tony Gwynn, LF (.250, 0 HR, 2 RBIs)
Adam Kennedy, 3B (.059, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
Ted Lilly, LHP (2-0, 0.90 ERA)
Eric Young Jr., CF (.294, 0 HR, 2 RBIs)
Marco Scutaro, 2B (.259, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
Carlos Gonzalez, LF (.303, 4 HR, 18 RBIs)
Troy Tulowitzki, SS (.282, 3 HR, 13 RBIs)
Michael Cuddyer, RF (.299, 2 HR, 12 RBIs)
Ramon Hernandez, C (.246, 4 HR, 14 RBIs)
Chris Nelson, 3B (.226, 0 HR, 4 RBIs)
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP (0-2, 5.85 ERA)