Results tagged ‘ Braves ’

Rockies resting Blackmon after All-Star Weekend

Rockies manager Walt Weiss gave outfielder Charlie Blackmon a night off from the starting lineup on Friday, figuring he could use a break after his first trip to the All-Star Game.

Weiss could identify with Blackmon. Weiss represented the Braves in the 1998 All-Star Game at Coors Field — where Weiss had played while with the Rockies. Although the All-Star festivities were not quite as all-consuming as now, going back home for an All-Star Game was a busy time for him.

“My plan coming out of the break was I was going to let Charlie Blackmon catch his breath a little bit,” Weiss said. “It was probably a whirlwind for him.

“I went to an All-Star Game when I was in Atlanta and I was older. But I remember Bobby Cox telling me it was a very eventful three days, four days for me back in Denver. When the second half started I wasn’t in the lineup. I kind of took something from that. It actually was real good timing for me.”

– Thomas Harding

Helton welcomes Hudson to Coors Field

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.

BRAVES

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)

ROCKIES

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)

It’s the Seth Smith shopping season

With the addition of Michael Cuddyer to the outfield, the Rockies are hoping to trade left-handed hitting outfielder Seth Smith to fill other needs, which have been identified as pitching and second base. The club had lengthy talks with the Braves in hopes of landing infielder Martin Prado. However, any such deal would wend up being contingent on the Braves swinging another trade to fill the hole that Prado’s departure opened. The Braves appeared close to one at one point, but that’s no longer the case. That trail is now cold.

During the Winter Meetings, the Rockies had talks with the Mariners and those could be gaining new life, although it’s unclear how far along those talks are. During the Winter Meetings the Mariners appeared willing to trade infielder Chone Figgins, a onetime contributor to winning teams with the Angels who has struggled the last two years. That almost certainly would require the M’s to eat most or all of the two-year, $17 million remainder of the contract. The Rockies, the team that originally drafted Figgins, were lukewarm at that point.

Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported this week that the Mariners, Athletics, Mets, Braves and Rays are possibilities.

Rox agree to deal Street, can pursue pitching or Cuddyer

DALLAS – The Rockies agreed to trade their former closer, Huston Street, to the Padres on Wednesday and are aggressively pursuing improvements that aren’t limited to starting pitching, sources told MLB.com. The teams are completing negotiations, but the Padres are expected to pick up much of Street’s $8 million guarantee for 2012.

According to multiple sources with knowledge of the deal, some cash will go the Padres’ way, but there is enough salary relief for the Rockies that they can entertain other deals.

MLB.com has learned that the Rockies have contacted the Braves with interest in arbitration-eligible right-handed pitcher Jair Jurrjens, a talented young arm who is expected to make around $5 million through arbitration in 2012 and is under club control through 2013. CBS Sports reported Tuesday night that eight teams have approached the Braves. The Rockies also have discussed trade scenarios with the Reds involving right-hander Edinson Volquez, and they approached righty Hiroki Kuroda last week but made it clear they will to clear salary to make a deal work.

But the Rockies also have coveted free-agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer and have the dollars to pursue him. Theoretically, the Rockies can use their left-handed hitting outfielder Seth Smith as a chip to fill holes, pitching and otherwise. However, the Rockies will not include center fielder Dexter Fowler — whom they believe is in for a breakout season — in any deal.

The move also offers the Padres, who are expected to send the Rockies a player to be named, some flexibility as they replace Heath Bell as closer. Street is due $7.5 million this year with a $500,000 buyout on a 2013 option worth $9 million. If Street has a standout season – and he’s working at PETCO Park, a pitcher-friendly venue – the Padres will not have to pursue another closer on the open market before 2013.

Rafael Betancourt, who supplanted Street as closer last season, is projected for the role with the Rockies this year. The Rockies then could develop righty Chad Bettis, who struck out 184 against 45 walks at Class-A Modesto as a starter, to be the closer of the future.

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