Results tagged ‘ Dan O'Dowd ’

Notes: Street to throw, but not setting timetable

Right-handed reliever Huston Street will play catch on Friday, but don’t expect any pronouncements about being on the way back from the shoulder tightness that will delay the start of his regular season.

“It’ll be the first time [playing catch] since they shut me down again,” said Street, who progressed far enough to throw a simulated game before his shoulder turned sore again. “I’m not going to jump out there to any conclusions.

“The last time, I was throwing to hitters. I thought I was on the road. So I’m just going to take it one day at a time and just get a little bit better. But we don’t have a [return to the Majors] date in mind. It’s going to happen as soon as we can get out there.”

– The Rockies recently told righty Tim Redding his best chance to make the club would be as a reliever. But the club has moved his next appearance to Saturday, but he’ll start and go four innings in a Minor League game.

“The reasoning I was told was one- and two-inning outings isn’t going to benefit me or the team because the role I’m going to be in is going to require me to throw possibly upwards of four, even five innings or spot-start,” Redding said. “They want to keep my endurance and my pitch count up. It’s always easier to go down than it is to be down and try to go up.”

– Left-hander Joe Beimel joined the Rockies on Tuesday, and manager Jim Tracy and general manager Dan O’Dowd said they didn’t see him being ready for the start of the regular season. Beimel sees it differently. He threw a “live” batting practice session Wednesday, during the Major Leaguers’ day off.

Asked if he took the conservative statements of his bosses as a challenge, Beimel laughed.

“A little bit,” Beimel said. “I know how hard I worked during the offseason. I know how hard I work as a player, what it takes to get ready for a 162-game season. I knew there was a possibility I wasn’t going to sign until late. I wasn’t sitting on the couch eating potato chips.

“I feel outstanding today. Not sore a single bit anywhere. I’m good to go.”

He wants to throw in a game on Saturday.

Bullpen the final big issue of spring

The bullpen race looks to be down to three, possibly four, pitchers for one spot.

Here’s how it looks, barring injury:

– Lefty Franklin Morales should be the closer, since Huston Street is going to begin the year on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

– With Morales closing, Randy Flores is the lone lefty in a setup role.

– Righties Rafael Betancourt, as long as his shoulder continues to respond, Matt Daley and Matt Belisle are locks. Belisle is out of options, but that shouldn’t matter. He has not given up a run all spring, and Daley has been perfect since two bad initial outings.

– Tentatively, count righty Manuel Corpas as one. He has been bad at times, but when he keeps the ball down in the zone he has been effective. Plus, manager Jim Tracy is considering him for end-of-the game duty alongside Morales.

All of this means non-roster right-handers Tim Redding, Juan Rincon and Justin Speier are vying for a job. With all of them under Minor League contracts, there is no roster issue forcing the Rockies’ hand.

The X-factor is lefty Joe Beimel, who agreed to a Minor League deal Monday night. General manager Dan O’Dowd said he does not expect Beimel to be ready for the opening of the season.

Redding began the spring as a starter, and is in postition to throw multiple innings.Speier’s forkball has been an effective pitch against right-handers and left-handers, which makes him a candidate to hold a job until Beimel is ready. Rincon, who has a save and a 1.29 ERA and .209 batting average against, has impressed scouts with his location.

O’Dowd: Beimel likely to start year in Minors

Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd announced Tuesday, “Johnny Cash showed up. He’s dressed in black, ready to go.”

O’Dowd was referring to left-handed reliever Joe Beimel, who has agreed to a Minor League contract. As Beimel underwent his physical, O’Dowd said it was unlikely he’ll have time to be in Major League shape by the time the season starts on April 5.

“That might be what it turns out, but that’s not what we’re going into this for,” O’Dowd said. “I’m sure he’s going to think he’s going to be ready, but we’re not going to rush that at all.”

Beimel signed with the National last March 18 and made his first appearance on April 7. But that was a different situation.

“We’re trying to win a World Series,” O’Dowd said. “We’re not just trying to get a Major League pitcher. He has to be right to help us. We’ll put him in the best position to help our club and help himself.

“Joe had other options. I think he really wanted to come here.”

If Beimel begins in the Minors, the bullpen could be a short from the left side, especially if lefty Franklin Morales is the closer. Randy Flores, who returns today from six days off after being hit with a line drive, would be the only lefty setup man.

Flores’ injury highlighted how thin the Rockies were in left-handed relievers. After him, the only healthy lefty reliever in camp was Matt Reynolds, who hasn’t piched above Double-A. Now the Rockies are leaning toward giving Reynolds as much experience as possible in camp, but only taking him to start the season in the case of an emergency.

Rox take new look at Tim Redding

One Rockies free agency target, right-handed reliever Matt Capps, reportedly is leaning to the Nationals. But when news of the Rockies’ interest in Capps came to light, general manager Dan O’Dowd said the club was looking at a variety of pitchers. According to a Major League source, one is right-hander Tim Redding. The Rockies pursued Redding last year, but he signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Mets.

 

Redding had foot surgery after the 2008 season and didn’t become active until May. He went 3-6 with a 5.10 ERA in 30 games, including 17 starts. With the Rockies, Redding would offer insurance for the starting rotation or give the bullpen length and experience.

Talks heat up with catchers; Capps to narow suitors

Nothing is happening between the Rockies and catcher Yorvit Torrealba. That $400,000 gap doesn’t seem to be getting any narrower. Dan O’Dowd, the Rockies’ general manager, acknowledges talking to Miguel Olivo — the No. 1 alternative — Josh Bard and others on the market.

“We’re working our way through the process with a number of catchers out there, so I wouldn’t say we’re any farther along than we were a week ago,” said O’Dowd, who said there is simply a “difference of opinion” between the Rockies and Torrealba that can’t be bridged at this time. That at least leaves the door open for Torrealba.

Also, righty reliever Matt Capps’ agent, who found himself fielding multiple suitors, said Capps will narrow the list to the five most-serious. The Rockies have definite interest, since current Rockies skipper Jim Tracy managed Capps in Pittsburgh.

By the way, former Rockies fan favorite utility man Jamey Carroll reached an agreement with the Dodgers. O’Dowd said the Rockies were not necessarily looking for a glove man.

Torrealba still pending …

This is not to say that things are falling apart in the Rockies-Yorvit Torrealba talks, but there has been no movement this far today. The Rockies have a soild idea of what they want to spend. Torrealba’s reps still are testing the market to make sure what he signs is of proper value. So this may take awhile. It’s still most likely that Torrealba will sign, but the Rockies see Miguel Olivo and Josh Bard as other options.

But Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd allowed that retaining Torrealba, who has been with the club since 2006, and Iannetta beyond this year is important to the Rockies. The Rockies are negotiating with Iannetta, who is eligible for arbitration, on a multi-year deal.

“It’s a position that we look at maybe a little differently,” O’Dowd said. “The continuity of what you get with your pitching staff … If you keep going year-to-year, you have to learn the staff. The relationships are so valuable.”

Iannetta, Rox talk multi-year deal

The Rockies’ maintained faith in catcher Chris Iannetta despite his struggles in 2009. They’re backing that faith in contract talks.

 

General manager Dan O’Dowd said Monday that the Rockies are discussing several contract structures, including a multi-year deal, with the arbitration-eligible Iannetta. The Rockies are also talking about more than one year with two other arbitration-eligible players — closer Huston Street and second baseman Clint Barmes.

 

The latter two were known to be discussing multiyear deals, but O’Dowd revealed the talks with Iannetta during Monday’s first day of the MLB Winter Meetings.

 

The club continues to talk to catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who is a free agent who is testing the market to find a more favorable contract structure and playing opportunity. But the priority is Iannetta, who hit .264 with a .440 slugging percentage in 2008 but hit .228 last year and lost playing time (despite a .460 slugging percentage) to Torrealba in 2009.

 

Left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, coming off a career year (16-9, 4.38 ERA), will be signed to a one-year deal. De La Rosa will be eligible for free agency after 2010. With a good year, he not only will be in line for a big contract but could find himself a Type B free agent. That would give him added leverage and allow the Rockies to receive a pick in the 2011 Draft as compensation should he leave.

Playing some first base could help Hawpe

Brad Hawpe was primarily a first baseman at LSU, with Todd Helton entrenched as the Rockies’ first baseman Hawpe had to make a change. Hawpe used hard work to become a right fielder, and a productive one. Not only has he been one of the most productive offensive players at his position (last year’s second-half slump notwithstanding), but he developed one of the National League’s best throwing arms from right.

But general manager Dan O’Dowd’s statement that Hawpe could play first base to spell Helton on some days is an idea whose time has come. O’Dowd told the Denver Post, “He’s a legitimate alternative.”

Hawpe has an imposing physique, but that can come at a price in the outfield. There is a wear and tear that goes with covering those distances, making the dives and hitting the walls. With manager Jim Tracy riding Hawpe almost daily as the team climbed out of its early-season hole, he wasn’t rested as much as he needed to be. The physical pounding showed late in the year.

Helton will continue to be the primary first baseman, and he’s a hard guy to sit. But putting Hawpe at first on occasion, then resting him in the outfield on other days, could preserve both players.

Moments worth framing

The Rockies honored first baseman Todd Helton on Monday for achieving his 2,000th career hit on the road at Atlanta. The club played a tribute of his various milestone hits, including his home run against the Dodgers in 2007 that seemed to make the Rockies believe that their late-season playoff run was possible.

With owners Charlie and Dick Monfort, club president Keli McGregor, general manager Dan O’Dowd and manager Clint Hurdle at his side, Helton received a framed presentation. It consisted of photos of his swing at various points of his career, and the Denver Post article the day after he reached the milestone.

Where are they headed?

Here are some of the Rockies’ decisions on where players will start 2009:

– Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin received consideration for Triple-A Colorado Springs, but he’ll start at Double-A Tulsa.

“There’s a factor involved — the weather,” Rockies player development director Marc Gustafson said. “It’s staying on a consistent routine. When you’re in Colorado Springs, you don’t know what you’re going to get.

“He’s got the talent [to pitch Triple-A], but, as we say, it’s not where you start. It’s where you finish. He has the ability to pitch at the Major League level. We just have to make sure we take care of him.”

– Catcher Michael McKenry showed some ability early in camp. With the possibility of Sal Fasano and Edwin Bellorin handling the catching at Colorado Springs, the Rockies believe Tulsa is the best place for McKenry.

“He’s a young kid still learning how to call games,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd said. “I want us to take our time with our catchers as much as we can.”

– Right-handers Brandon Hynick, Greg Reynolds and Jason Hirsh look to be three-fifths of the Colorado Springs rotation. A possibility is lefty Greg Smith, if he’s healthy. Smith’s shoulder soreness has likely cost him a chance at the Major League rotation.

Gustafson said since being sent down early in camp, Hirsh has made progress. Hirsh missed the end of 2007 with a broken bone in his leg and as limited last season with a rotator cuff strain.

“He’s worked extremely hard and gone about his business the right way,” Gustafson said. “Good things are going to happen for him.”

– Reynolds, who struggled during two callups last season, is another work in progress.

“He’s got a few minor issues with his delivery that he should be able to correct,” Colorado Springs pitching coach Chuck Kniffin said. “I think his stride was getting out there a little too long the last two times he threw [in Major League spring games]. That makes it harder to get sink with his sinker. He needs to concentrate on the lower part of the zone, so when he misses he’ll miss down in the zone. He needs to stay ahead of hitters so he can pitch off the plate aggressively.”

Kniffin also said Reynolds should be able to use his curveball at different parts of the count.

Reynolds was the Rockies’ top pick in 2006, and missed the end of 2007 with a shoulder injury, so he needs experience.

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