Results tagged ‘ Astros ’

Guthrie under the weather, on the mound

Just three times in nine games as the Rockies’ starting pitcher stayed in a game longer than five innings. Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie has one of the long ones, seven innings while winning the opener at Houston, and one of the short ones, 3 1/3 and six runs against although the Rockeis beat the Giants in comeback fashion.

Now Guthrie must shake off illness to give the Rockies the innings they need against the Padres on Monday night.

“He’s dealing with being a little bit under the weather,” Rockis manager Jim Tracy said. “It’s not even close to the extent with Carlos Gonzalez [who was at Coors Field and possibly able to pinch-hit, after missing two straight games with strep throat]. But he did have a little bit of a sore throat over the last day or so.

“We’re keeping an eye on that but also keeping out fingers crossed that this is one of those days where you go out there and get a Guthrie performance, where he potentially pitches you deep into a game and you can use your bullpen accordingly.”

Tonight, Tracy said the bullpen is not in bad shape. Right-hander Josh Roenicke, who went 2 2/3 inings on Sunday and an inning the previous game, is the only one definitely unavailable. Righty Esmil Rogers, who threw 62 pitches over two performances Thursday and Friday, is in play, as is righty Tyler Chatwood, although Tracy said Chatwod cannot pitch for an “extended period.”

Also, the Rockies have asked right-handed starter Jhoulys Chacin not to throw his scheduled bullpen session until later. He is available out of the bullpen in an emergency.

Padres lineup

Cameron Maybin, CF

Will Venable, LF

Chase Headley, 3B

Jeremy Hermida, RF

Nick Hundley, C

Yonder Alonso, 1B

Andy Parrino, 2B

Jason Bartlett, SS

Cory Luebke, LHP

Rockies lineup

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Dexter Fowler, CF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Todd Helton, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Tyler Colvin, LF

Ramon Hernandez, C

Chris Nelson, 3B

Jeremy Guthrie, RHP

Stand up and cheer Juan Nicasio

Opening Day is always special, but fans at Coors Field saved their special level of noise and joy for when right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio was introduced. Nicasio, standing along the first-base line, stepped forward, doffed his cap and truly took in the appreciation.

We expect there will be another roar tonight, but Nicasio might be trying too hard to concentrate to acknowledge as fully. But folks will understand.

For the first time since last Aug. 5, when the Nationals’ Ian Desmond’s line drive bounced off his head and left him with a fractured skill and a broken C-1 vertebrae, Nicasio will be pitching at Coors when he faces the D-backs tonight at 6:40.

“I’ve been thinking about how it’s going to be like when I pitch my first game here,” Nicasio said Thursday. “I’m excited.”

The dramatic comeback story is enhanced by the fact Nicasio has become an important cog in the rotation. In his first start, at Houston on Sunday, Nicasio limited the Astros to one run and four hits in seven innings.

Although his last experience at Coors was horrifying, it’s been a good place for him. After being called up from Double-A tulsa last year, Nicasio went 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA in 41 innings at home.

What a homecoming this will be.

Rockies lineup

Scutaro 2B

Dexter Fowler, CF

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Todd Helton, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Ramon Hernandez, C

Chris Nelson, 3B

Juan Nicasio, P

Rockies trainer was first to see Nicasio’s comeback coming

When a player is injured, the team’s head atheltic trainer knows more about the injury, rehab and chances of a comeback better than anyone, save for a doctor. Rockies head athetic trainer Keith Dugger  was the first to see pitcher Juan Nicasio’s miracle return from a broken neck — which culminates with his start against the Astros on Sunday afternoon — coming.

Dugger watched in amazement during the winter as Nicasio, who suffered the injury (along with a fractured skull) when he was hit in the head with a line drive by the Nationals’ Ian Desmond and tumbled to the mound last Aug. 5, threw pitches in the Dominican Republic, with no effects from neck surgery and no referred pain in his muscles. When general manager Dan O’Dowd called and asked if Nicasio would be ready by June, Dugger was the first to say it could be long before that.

In Spring Training, Nicasio proved Dugger correct.

“I was more worried about Spring Training,” Dugger said. “But after that first comebacker [a line drive that buzzed past him in his first spring appearance], I knew we were home free.

“And I think once he gets through a start in Denver, back on the mound where he got injured, he’ll be completely over it.”

Manager Jim Tracy said Nicasio is “way past what happened.”

Nicasio will be backed by a lineup full of changes, as Dexter Fowler, Todd helton, Ramon Hernandez and Marco Scutaro rest.

Rockies batting order

Tyler Colvin, CF

Jordan Pacheco, 3B

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Jason Giambi, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Wilin Rosario, C

Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Juan Nicasio, P

Astros lineup

Jordan Schafer, CF

Jose Altuve, 2B

J.D. Martinez, LF

Carlos Lee, 1B

Brian Bogusevic, RF

Chris Johnson, 3B

Jason Castro, C

Marwin Gonzalez, SS

Bud Norris, P

Rockies’ Moyer: One for the ages

Jamie Moyer is 49, coming off Tommy John elbow surgery in 2010, and he’s pitching for the Rockies against the Astros tonight.

But manager Jim Tracy simply wants a deep outing and a chance to win against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

“I just really beleive and personally I think Jamie wants it preceived this way, is Jamie wants to compete,” Tracy said. “He’s here to do exactly what Jeremy Guthrie did for us last night. That is go out, be very, very competitive and give us an opportunity to win a baseball game. I really personally feel that’s the way Jamie Moyer is approaching what he’s going to set out to do tonight.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s the same Jamie Moyer that I saw prior to the arm injury. It’s the same guy. Since the injury that forced him to miss the entire season last year, there’s been very little if any change in his velocity. He pitches exactly the same. He competes exactly the same. There’s still a burning desire to go out and pitch competitively at the Major League level.

“Obviously, the thing that comes into play is a lot of people suggesting how can he do that at 49 years of age. He’s still doing it, and he did it all spring well. I saw no tradeoff whatsoevery as far as where Jamie Moyer is at competitively in relation to his age. We’re looking forward to this. It really boils down to his command, his capability of getting into the strike zone, getting ahead of hitters and getting hitters to start to swing.”

The Rockies are using the same lineup as in the season-opening 5-3 victory over the Astros on Friday night:

Rockies lineup

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Dexter Fowler, CF

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Todd Helton, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Ramon Hernandez, C

Chris Nelson, 3B

Jamie Moyer, P

Here is the Astros’ batting order:

Jordan Schafer, CF

Brian Bixler, 2B’

J.D. Martinez, LF

Carlos Lee, 1B

Chris Johnson, 3B

Brian Bogusevic, RF

Chris Snyder, C

Marwin Gonzalez, SS

Lucas Harrell, P

 

Tulo feels stiffness during BP but expects to be ready for Opening Day; Blackmon also takes BP

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki wore a tight, white sleeve on his left elbow while taking swings in the batting cage and reported improvement in his sore left elbow.

But Tulowitzki, hit on the elbow by a pitch from former teammate Ubaldo Jimenez on Sunday, said he will play in Wednesday’s Spring Training finale against the Mariners at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. More importantly he expects to be ready for Friday night’s opener against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

“Today felt good,” Tulowitzki said. “Tomorrow I’m pretty sure I’m in there. I’ll give it a go, and hopefully all signs point to being fine.”

The ball came off Tulowitzki’s bat with authority.

“I didn’t feel any pain,” he said. “It’s obviously a little tight, so the amount of extension I’m getting isn’t as much as it normally is. But with another two day, three days of treatment I should have full motion.”

Tulowitzki will protect the elbow with padding.

Another injured Rockies player, outfielder Charlie Blackmon, whose chance to compete for an Opening Day roster spot was scuttled by a right big toe injury, took batting practice Monday as well.

Blackmon has been running, but not at full intensity. Blackmon, who hit .255 in his 27-game debut with the Rockies last season before a broken foot ended his year, had a strong start to the spring. However, he dropped to .233, then was hurt. It opened the door for Tyler Colvin to earn that left-handed bench spot. Colvin carried a .385 average with three home runs and 18 RBIs into Tuesday’s game.

“It’s very frustrating,” Blackmon said. “Everybody is excited to start playing some real games that count, and I’m just going to stay here and finish up my spring.”

Blackmon hoped to play some games at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick later this week. He’ll play at Triple-A Colorado Springs and hope to earn a promotion to the Rockies.

“I think [the swing] will come back in a couple of days and I’ll feel like I did three weeks ago,” he said.

Cuddyer back in lineup

Rockies right fielder Micahel Cuddyer returned to the lineup today, against the Mariners, for the first time since being hit in the hand with a pitch from the Rangers’ Yu Darvish on Friday night.

Cuddyer was originally scheduled to play Sunday against the Indians, but was scratched before the game.

“[Sunday] I picked up the bat and swung a little bit, and only took about five swings and was afraid this thing was going to blow up again,” Cuddyer said. “I wanted to take yesterday to see if I could do it. I hit, and there was no problem.”

Cuddyer said he is excited for Friday night’s opener at Houston, after playing all or parts of the last 11 seasons with the Twins.

“For Opening Day, I was always anxious, nervous, butterflies,” Cuddyer said. “I get butterflies for every game. Now, being with a new team, new fan base, new organization, new league, I almost feel like a rookie again. In Houston, I’ll be facing three pitchers and I’ve only faced one of them before — like, three at-bats.

“Feeling like a rookie again is fun.”

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was out for the second straight day after being hit on the left elbow by the Indians’ Ubaldo Jimenez — who was issued a five-game suspension and undisclosed fine after Major League Baseball determined that the act was intentional. Tulowitzki was to hit in the batting cage today.

Here is the Rockies’ lineup for today’s next-to-last Cactus League game:

Marco Scutaro, SS

Dexter Fowler, CF

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Todd Helton, 1B

Jason Giambi, DH

Ramon Hernandez, C

Jordan Pacheco, 3B

Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Rockies pitching for today:

Juan Nicasio, RHP

Matt Belisle, RHP

Rafael Betancourt, RHP

Rex Brothers, LHP

 

 

Rockies roster set

Rockies manager Jim Tracy announced his Opening Day roster on Monday, although there will be some changes in the early days of the season. Left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz won’t be activated until April 15, when he is scheduled to pitch, and lefty Jamie Moyer won’t be activated until he starts Saturday against the Astros.

One spot is up in the air. Left-handed reliever Josh Outman is battling food poisoning. If he won’t be ready for Friday, the Rockies will have to make an adjustment by bringing back right-hander Alex White, who was optioned to the Minors on Monday.

Tracy also said he is comfortable setting a roster with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki active. Tulowitzki suffered a bruised left elbow on Sunday when hit by a pitch from the Indians’ Ubaldo Jimenez.

Here is the roster for Friday’s opener against the Astros:

PITCHERS (11) — Jeremy Guthrie, Juan Nicasio, Jhoulys Chacin, Matt Belisle, Rafael Betancourt, Rex Brothers, Tyler Chatwood, Matt Reynolds, Josh Roenicke, Esmil Rogers, Josh Outman

CATCHERS (2) — Ramon Hernandez, Wilin Rosario

INFIELDERS (7) — Todd Helton, Marco Scutaro, Troy Tulowitzki, Jordan Pacheco, Chris Nelson, Jason Giambi, Jonathan Herrera.

OUTFIELDERS (5) — Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, Michael Cuddyer, Tyler Colvin, Eric Young Jr.

Tulo’s left elbow surprisingly normal

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki walked through the clubhouse with his left elbow unwrapped, and it was surprisingly normal in color and closer in size to his right elbow Monday morning.

Tulowitzk was smoked on the elbow by former teammate Ubaldo Jimenez in the first inning of Sunday’s Indians-Rockies game. Tulowitzki said he will not be in the lineup for Monday afternoon’s game against the Mariners and isn’t sure if he’ll play in Cactus League games against the Mariners Tuesday and Wednesday. However, he doesn’t expect to miss the regular-season opener Friday against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

“I’m getting treatment, icing it, and they’re trying to massage out some of the inflammation,” Tulowitzki said. “I’ve been hit by a pitch before. It’s nothing more than that. I’ll be good to go. I’m not going to miss any [regular-season] time.

“They [the Rockies' training staff] did a good job of getting on top of it, and last night taking care of it, staying on top of it. We’ll see how today goes. If I can, I’d like to get back in there, but if I can’t I’m not worried about it, either.”

Given the bad blood between Jimenez, who struggled last season and bristled over contract issues before the July 31 trade to the Indians, and the Rockies, and given that Jimenez has criticized the Rockies and Tulowitzki shot back in defense of his club, the Rockies believe the act was intentional and have called for Jimenez to be suspended by Major League Baseball. Here is video.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported on Twitter that MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said Joe Torre’s MLB baseball operations office is reviewing the incident.

Rockies’ Geivett makes sense for Astros

The Houston Astros’ interest in Rockies assistant general manager Bill Geivett seems quite appropriate, given the Astros’ need to improve their farm system and Geivett’s contributions to the Rockies’ success in recent years.

Geivett, 48, has a deep background in scouting and player development with the Yankees, Expos, Rays, Dodgers and Rockies. In his early days with the Rockies as player pesonnel director and farm director, Geivett had the important duty of melding the development program with the needs at the big-league level.

Through that, Geivett became the driving force behind the teaching manual that’s used throughout the organization. He has fostered a clean flow of information through the coaches, coordinators and front office to keep the Minor Leagues and the Major Leagues on the same page. Those who have worked for him say he has clear, exacting requirements for information and leaves little room or confusion — a key trait in handling an organization with so many working parts.

Geivett also has valuable on-field expereince. A former All-American at Cal-Santa Barbara, Geivett played professionally in the Angels organization as a third baseman, coached at Loyola Marymount and Long Beach State, and was an instructor in addition to scouting duties with the Yankees.

Rockies looking at SS Everett for Minor League deal

The Rockies, looking for protection in case shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is injured, say they are “kicking the tires” with free agent Adam Everett, a club source said Tuesday. The club is

The Tigers released Everett last June after he appeared in 51 games and hit .185. Everett played for the Astros 2001-07, the Twins in 2008 and the Tigers in 2008 and 2009.

By trading Clint Barmes to the Astros last month, the Rockies lost their most proven backup shortstop. Barmes started at second but played short when Tulowitzki was out with a fractured left wrist.

Jonathan Herrera and Chris Nelson have played short in the Minors, but Herrera played more second base in the Majors, and the Rockies began training Nelson as a multi-position infielder last year.

The team has acquired Jose Lopez in a trade with the Mariners, and on Tuesday was closing in on a two-year contract with Ty Wigginton. Both play multiple infield positions.

 

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