Results tagged ‘ Huston Street ’

Betancourt’s session brings sunshine

The Rockies’ clubhouse needed a smile on Wednesday, and right-hander Rafael Betancourt provided it.

It wasn’t as if folks were giving up because Huston Street’s shoulder problems now require an MRI and most likely will force him to the disabled list to start the season. But it’s always good to have good news. That was what Betancourt’s throwing session turned out to be.

Betancourt threw a 25-pitch “live” batting practice session against Eric Young Jr., and a couple other hitters.

“I like the way the ball was coming out of my hand, and that’s what I was looking for,” Betancourt said.

Manager Jim Tracy said Betancourt, who avoided arbitration with a two-year, $7.55 million contract during the winter, will not be a candidate to fill in for Street as closer.

“This man has been signed up here to be a setup man, and he is unbelievable at that,” Tracy said.

Betancourt said, “I just let Jim Tracy make a decision. I want to be in a spot to help the team win. I don’t care where it is.”

Betancourt hopes to throw a simulated game on Friday and make his Cactus League debut next week.

Rockies set for match with Indians

Right-handed closer Huston Street is likely headed to the disabled list with a shoulder issue. He’s having an MRI today. Infielder Omar Quintanilla is getting an MRI tomorrow.

So the news has been a little bit of a downer this morning. But the Rockies are playing the Indians today at Hi Corbett Field. Here’s the Rockies’ lineup:

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Dexter Fowler, CF

Todd Helton, 1B

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Brad Hawpe, RF

Chris Iannetta, C

Ian Stewart, 3B

Clint Barmes, 2B

Jorge De La Rosa, LHP

 

Corpas teeters, Morales thrives in back-to-back

One of the priorities of the final weeks of Spring Training is to work the relief pitchers on a regular season-like schedule, meaning asking them to work on consecutive days.

Right-hander Manuel Corpas pitched a clean inning Monday, with three straight groundball outs against the Cubs. On Tuesday against the White Sox, Corpas didn’t crumble but his inconsistency continued.

Corpas hit leadoff man Carlos Quentin with a 1-2 pitch. An error on second baseman Eric Young Jr. didn’t help. Corpas gave up a two-strike single to Alejandro De Aza to load the bases. Rockies left fielder Ryan Spilborghs bailed him out by grabbing a Mark Kotsay fly ball and cutting down a runner at the plate.

Corpas kept the inning scoreless by forcing Alexi Ramirez to ground to third, but manager Jim Tracy wanted more sharpness on a more regular basis.

“We saw him real good yesterday because the ball was back down there [low in the strike zone] where it belongs,” Corpas said. “Today, when the ball was down there where it belonged, Manny Corpas was successful.

“However, what we also have to realize is we look along the lines of a guy like this toward the back end of the game, you don’t have a great room for error. These are things that in late-inning situations, you want to know that is a rarity.”

Tracy said Corpas’ history of success works in his favor.

Morales struck out one during a perfect inning against the Cubs on Tuesday. he piched around a single in a scoreless inning on Tuesday against the White Sox.

“Frankie had some explosive fastballs today, and Frankie threw a couple of really good breaking balls — sharp, tight breaking balls,” Tracy said.

Infielder Omar Quintanilla fouled a pitch off his right foot and left the game with a knee injury after a collision at second base. Tracy said the Rockies will observe him Wednesday morning.

Right-hander Huston Street, hoping to appear in his first game after battling shoulder tightness, said he is ready for action this week. Tracy said he has not decided whether he’ll appear Wednesday or Thursday. Righty reliever Rafael Betancourt will throw a live batting practice session as his next step toward being ready for game action. Betancourt also suffered shoulder tightness early in camp.

 

Hawpe to be tested

Rockies right-fielder Brad Hawpe, coming back from an infected ingrown toenail, was held out of outdoor running activities Monday because of the rain in Tucson, but he’ll be tested more aggressively on Tuesday, manager Jim Tracy said. He could return to action shortly thereafter.

Righty reliever Rafael Betancourt’s stiff right shoulder is improving, Tracy said, but he was held out of throwing activities for fear he could slip on the wet ground. Tracy added that righty reliever Matt Belisle is dealing with forearm tightness, a situation the Rockies worked through last season. Righty closer Huston Street, who threw a light bullpen on Sunday, will throw a full bullpen on Tuesday. 

Hurdle continues to shoot for the latter part of this week to give veteran first basemen Todd Helton and Jason Giambi their first Cactus League action.

Betancourt taking more time; Street improving

Rockies right-handed reliever Rafael Betancourt, who fell behind in his season preparation because of an illness, has suffered another slight setback — stiffness in his right shoulder.

Betancourt, the eighth-inning setup man, threw a live batting practice session on Wednesday but the shoulder tightened. He’s hoping to play catch on Saturday. No word on when he’ll be available for Cactus League action.

“We’re going to go on his timetable, not on our timetable,” Rockies pitching coach Bob Apodaca said.

Rockies right-handed closer Huston Street, who also has experienced tightness in his right shoulder, has thrown on flat ground the last two days, will play catch Saturday and could throw from the mound on Sunday, Rockies head trainer Keith Dugger said.

Rockies near top of Bill James list

The just-published Bill James Gold Mine 2010 — a paperback chock full of analysis, notes and nuggets published by ACTA Sports Inc. – lists the Rockies as having the second-best inventory of young talent in baseball.

The Rockies ranked behind only the Rays, and were just ahead of the Twins.

“The Rockies rank 2nd in young position players, 7th in young pitching, 19th in prospects,” said James, a leading baseball statistical analyst for more than 30 years. “The top five are Troy Tulowitzki, Huston Street, Ubaldo Jimenez, Brad Hawpe and Seth Smith.”

James ranked the Rockies seventh last year.

James also listed the 20 “most valuable properties” among players — young stars with upside. Tulowitzki, the Rockies’ shortstop, was ranked 17th, the highest of any Rockies player.

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.

Street set to pitch … if something goes wrong

This is the day that right-handed reliever Huston Street is supposed to return to action, but manager Jim Tracy said there’s a good chance it won’t happen.

Tracy doesn’t want Street’s first action to be in a close game. But with the Rockies starting righty Ubaldo Jimenez and the D-backs going with Dan Haren, it’s likely to be a cloe, low-scoring game.

“I’d like to see the game be somewhat one-sided, one way or the other to try this out,” Tracy said.

Tracy added that Street didn’t look bad in Friday afternoon’s simulated game, but he was not as sharp as he would need to be in a close game. How long will it take for him to regain the sharpness? Tracy said it may take as litle as one game.

But once Street is determined ready, expect him to be moved back into the closer role, with lefty Franklin Morales becoming a key setup man.

One question for Sunday was the availability of righty setup man Rafael Betancourt, who was dealing with soreness in his right calf. Tracy said he was relieved the problem wasn’t with hit right groin. While with the Indians, before being traded to the Rockies in July, Betancourt missed six weeks with a groin strain.

Street throws smoothly, should return Sunday

Rockies reliever Huston Street’s simulated game at Chase Field on Friday went well, and he expects to be available for Sunday’s finale of the three-game set with the D-backs.

“I threw betweern 25 and 27 pitches, plus another 22 in the bullpen before — it was like a game, but a really long inning,” Street said. “It was basically the longest inning I’ve thrown in a long time, which was good. My stuff was there. The ball was coming out nicely. It was definitely a good thing.”

The Rockies are expected to return Street to the closer role but not until letting him re-acclimate himself to game action. Expect left-hander Franklin Morales to handle save situations until that time.

Curb that enthusiasm … a little

In meeting with the media Thursday morning, manager Jim Tracy reported that closer Huston Street had experienced some improvement in his sore right biceps tendon. That means he’s on the uphill swing of his comeback. But the trajectory of that swing is anyone’s guess.

“I’m not going to even begin to get excited until I begin to get off the mound,” said Street, who has been playing catch on flat ground. “Really, the only thing keeping me happy is we keep winning.”

Right-hander Aaron Cook is set to throw a bullpen on Friday. Manager Jim Tracy said Cook, who is hoping to return to the rotation before the regular season ends, could either throw a simulated game against his teammates or pitch in the fall instructional program before returning to action.

Left-hander Jeff Francis, who had shoulder surgery during Spring Training, also threw on Wednesday. Tracy said his goal is to have Francis pitch in the instructional program to have some comeptition under his belt, then he can prepare for 2010.

Tracy also said shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who missed the last two games with back tightness, was going to hit in the cage and could be available to pinch-hit. But third baseman Ian Stewart, who also has missed two games with back issues, was not well enogh to be considered to participate.

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