Results tagged ‘ Charlie Blackmon ’

Rockies’ Blackmon getting a chance to work through his slump

blackmon swing
Sometimes when a player commits a major mistake, he draws on the experience of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. Once after he made a game-losing error, he noted that he was just happy he would have the opportunity to make more such mistakes. It wasn’t that he enjoyed making the mistake. He was just happy the Orioles would keep giving him a chance to play.

Now Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon can identify.

Blackmon entered Monday night’s game against the Padres hitless in his last 10 at-bats and 3-for-33 in August. But he led off the game with an infield single – Padres shortstop Alexi Amarista dove behind second to stop the ball, but didn’t have a play at first – that for all anyone knows could start a reversal of the trend.

In previous years, as Blackmon battled foot injuries and was trying to establish himself in the Majors, he might not have received as many opportunities. A slump could have meant time on the bench or even an option to Triple-A Colorado Springs. But he made his first Opening Day roster this year,
was one of the Majors’ hottest hitters in April, and he was voted by players to the National League All-Star team.

“I did pretty well earlier in the season, and that’s afforded me some opportunities to be able to make the adjustments,” Blackmon said. “Last year, instead of getting to play the next day, you’d have to come off the bench that day and maybe do it again the next day.”

After Blackmon’s hot start, he began seeing more off-speed pitches early in the count. Blackmon was able to fight through that. Now pitchers are varying from pitch to pitch at a level he did not see earlier.

“They’ve mixing it up way more – velocities, locations and all that stuff,” Blackmon said. “It’s not just, ‘I’m going to throw fastballs away until you do something with it.’ It’s in, out, hard, soft, right from the get-go.”

Does being a leadoff man make it easier or harder?

“It depends on how things are going,” Blackmon said. “You always want one more at-bat [than players lower in the order in a particular game]. But sometimes I feel like I want to be able to see how the pitcher is throwing. The first time you see a changeup might be 0-2.”

– Thomas Harding

Rockies injuries, Rockies worries

7-20 lineupShortstop Troy Tulowitzki said his left thigh felt the same Sunday as it did Saturday night, when he suffered a cramp in the fourth inning and had to leave the 3-2 loss to the Pirates. And the news wasn’t much better when manager Walt Weiss ran down his injury list Sunday, before the R0ckies’ attempt to avoid being swept by the Pirates.

Tulowitzki was on the lineup as a possible pinch-hitter, but Weiss didn’t see him as an option.

“He’s sore,” Weiss said. “I still consider him day-to-day, but he’s sore. It could be a couple or three days. We’ll monitor it and just check in with him hourly, but I’m expecting it to be another day or two.”

Also:

– First baseman Justin Morneau missed his third straight day with neck stiffness, and Weiss admitted he’s worried “a little bit. He’s made some improvement but still not enough to be out there. Anytime a guy is not able to play in two, three, four days, you start to get concerned.”

– The stiff neck that lefty Boone Logan is suffering from also is an issue. It’s not clear if he’ll be available Sunday. “He’s still questionable,” Weiss said.

There was surprise good news. All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon turned his left ankle in a scary fashion Saturday night when he lined into a double play to end the 11th inning. X-rays were clean, and Blackmon wasn’t limping on Sunday.

“Charlie surprised me when he showed up this morning,” Weiss said. “I thought he was going to be hurt. I saw a replay, and I also saw a snapshot when he rolled his ankle. It was really ugly.

“He’s mad at me because he isn’t in the lineup, which is a good thing. He tried to make a case for being in that lineup. But I actually made the lineup before he got here and knew he’d be available. He is available and Charlie wants to be there. He’s fought hard to be an everyday player, and those guys want to be out there all the time.”

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

Carlos Torres to get the call for Rockies; Blackmon to Triple-A DL

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.

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.

Big day for Rockies’ Moscoso in Tucson

The Rockies and Padres are gearing up for a Spring Training exhibition at Kino Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. — the place known as Tucson Electric Park back when the Rockies played there. This is the game that was called off because of bad weather a few days ago. This is big for Tucson, which lost all of its teams a couple of years ago. The fans should have a chance to see many members of the Triple-A Tucson Padres.

It’s even bigger for Rockies right-hander Guillermo Moscoso, who is fighting for a spot on the Rockies’ pitching staff and trending upward.

Moscoso, 28, obtained along with lefty Josh Outman from the Athletics for outfielder Seth Smith during the offseason, struggled in his frist two Cactus League appearances. He gave up four runs on five hits and two walks against the Cubs in his first appearance, and one run but four hits and a walk against the White Sox the next time he pitched. Granted, he was more concerned with putting pitches over the plate than anything else, but trying to make the team and possibly the starting rotation calls for more than that.

But Moscoso delievered in his last outing, throwing three scoreless innings against the Reds, striking out three and holding them to one hit and no walks. It looks as if rotation spots will go to Jeremy Guthrie, Jhoulys Chacin, Drew Pomeranz and, it seems likely, Juan Nicasio, who is making a dramatic return from a broken neck. Moscoso appears to be battling power pitcher Tyler Chatwood and 49-year-old lefty Jamie Moyer. A righty, Alex White, is in the mix; White will pitch in Tucson today. Outman was affected by the weather earlier in he week and needs to rebuild his stamina, so he might be more in line for a bullpen job.

Moscoso can work out of the rotation and the bullpen. If he continues to gain steam, he gives the Rockies a versatile arm.

Here is the lineup for the Rockies today in Tucson:

Eric Young Jr., CF

Jonathan Herrera, SS

Jordan Pacheco, C

Chad Tracy, 1B

Tyler Colvin, RF

Chris Nelson, 3B

Charlie Blackmon, LF

DJ LeMahieu, 2B

Guillermo Moscoso, RHP

Don’f forget, the Rockies will face the Giants at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick tonight, with Moyer pitching. Guthrie will pitch in a nighttime Minor League game at the complex.

A cold, rainy Sunday for the Rockies

Bad weather is playing havoc with the Cactus League today. The Rockies and Padres decided last night to postpone their scheduled game in Tucson, Ariz., until Thursday. But the Rockies still plan a game at Peoria, Ariz., against the Mariners, weather permitting.

Right-hander Tyler Chatwood will work against the Mariners, weather permitting, with lefty Josh Outman and righty Esmil Rogers scheduled to work in relief.

In an interesting lineup twist, Tyler Colvin, who has been impressive in his quest for a backup outfield job, will play first base. The versatility can help him. With the field expected to be wet, none of the Rockies’ regulars will be in the lineup.

Eric Young Jr., CF

Charlie Blackmon, RF

Jordan Pacheco, C

Tim Wheeler, LF

Chris Nelson, DH

Tyler Colvin, 1B

Nolan Arenado, 3B

Brendan Harris, SS

DJ LeMahieu, 2B

Multiple injury updates, lineups for Rockies-Dodgers

– After hitting and taking groundball Friday, Rockies third baseman Casey Blake — who must prove he is healthy after neck surgery last year to hold onto a starting job — planned a full workout on Saturday with hopes of playing Sunday. Saturday will be the sixth straight day Blake has missed five days because of soreness in the trapezius muscle.

– Left-handed pitcher Jamie Moyer was “virtually pain-free,” according to Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger, when he threw a bullpen session on Saturday morning. Moyer planed a long day of strengthening, flexibility and treatment after the session. Moyer had been scratched from a Minor League start on Friday.

– Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who left Thursday’s start with a blister on his right index finger, said Saturday morning he was about to throw a 30-35-pitch bullpen session. Chacin left his start Thursday with the ailment after throwing 44 pitches in three innings. He said he does not expect to have any problem making his next scheduled start, on Tuesday against the Padres at Peoria, Ariz.

– Chris Nelson, competing to step into the void at third base if Blake can’t answer the bell, will start Saturday against the Dodgers at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Other players in the lineup needing big performances to make the squad are outfielders Eric Young Jr. and Andrew Brown, and catcher Wil Nieves.

– Rockies righty Drew Pomeranz threw 35-40 bullpen pitches Friday, will throw again on Sunday, and will start in a game on Wednesday. Pomeranz left his last start with right glute tightness.

ROCKIESS LINEUP

ROCKIES RELIEF PITCHING

DODGERS LINEUP

Dee Gordon, SS

Mark Ellis, 2B

Andre Ethier, RF

Adam Kennedy, 1B

Juan Uribe, 3B

Tony Gwynn Jr., CF

A.J. Ellis, C

Cory Sullivan, LF

Nathan Eovaldi, RHP

DODGERS RELIEF PITCHING

Alberto Castillo, LHP

Fernando Nieve, RHP

Will Savage, RHP

Ryan Tucker, RHP

Logan Bawcom, RHP

Brent Leach, LHP

Chacin leads Rockies against Royals

Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin’s spring devoted to fastball command continues today as he starts for the Rockies, and most likely goes three innings, against the Royals at Surprise Stadium. Also, fast-working lefty Christian Friedrich will appear, on the heels of his two scoreless innings with one hit and two strikeouts against the D-backs five days ago. Friedrich entered camp as a darkhorse candidate for the starting rotation, and has been impressive.

Center fielder Dexter Fowler is the only clear starter in the lineup, but the game is a big one because several players seeking key reserve roles made the trip.

Rockies batting order

Eric Young Jr., LF

Dexter Fowler, CF

Charlie Blackmon, RF

Brandon Wood, SS

Nolan Arenado, 3B

Chad Tracy, 1B

Chris Nelson, 2B

Brendan Harris, DH

Wil Nieves, C

Rockies pitchers

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP

Christian Friedrich, LHP

Rex Brothers, LHP

Matt Belisle, RHP

Joe Gardner, RHP

Dustin Molleken, RHP

Stephen Dodson, RHP

Royals batting order

Alex Gordon, LF

Johnny Giavotella, 2B

Eric Hosmer, 1B

Billy Butler, DH

Mike Moustakas, 3B

Jeff Francoeur, RF

Lorenzo Cain, CF

Alcides Escobar, SS

Royals pitchers

Luis Mendoza, RHP

Joakim Soria, RHP

Sean O’Sullivan, RHP

Tim Collins, LHP

Noel Arguelles, LHP

Nicasio to pitch against Athletics; Smith not making trip

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio, coming back from a broken neck that he suffered last year, gets his first Cactus League outing today against the Athletics at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Nicasio threw two impressive innings in an intrasquad game on Sunday. Listen free to an exclusive webcast.

Nicasio has insisted all along he has no fear of balls coming back to him. He suffered the frightening injury last Aug. 5, when a line drive from the Nationals’ Ian Desmond struck him in the temple.

Interestingly, the Athletics have agreed to forego the designated hitter, so Nicasio will also have to bat.

For the second time this spring, the Rockies are starting Charlie Blackmon in the leadoff spot. Blackmon, batting for the fourth outfield spot, homered off the Giants’ Tim Lincecum on Wednesday. Also, catching prospect Wilin Rosario will start.

The Athletics are not bringing former Rockies outfielder Seth Smith, who was sent to Oakland during the offseason for pitchers Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman.

Here are the lineups:

ROCKIES BATTING ORDER

Charlie Blackmon, CF

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Casey Blake, 3B

Wilin Rosario, C

Juan Nicasio, P

ROCKIES SCHEDULED RELIEVERS

Tyler Chatwood, RHP

Edwar Cabrera, LHP

Rafael Betancourt, RHP

Stephen Dodson, RHP

ATHLETICS BATTING ORDER

Jemile Weeks, 2B

Eric Sogard, SS

Coco Crisp, CF

Josh Reddick, RF

Kurt Suzuki, C

Brandon Allen, 1B

Josh Donaldson, 3B

Brandon Moss, LF

Brandon McCarthy, RHP

ATHLETICS SCHEDULED RELIEVERS

Jerry Blevins, LHP

Andrew Carignan, RHP

Grant Balfour, RHP

Fabio Castro, LHP

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.