Results tagged ‘ Huston Street ’

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.

Street enjoying visit to old address

The boos from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum crowd surprised Rockies closer Huston Street on Friday night. But they didn’t hurt him, emotionally or on the mound, where threw a perfect inning for the save in a 4-2 victory over the Athletics.


“That’s fine,” Street said. “I’m not their guy anymore.


“I thought I’d have a little bit extra rush,” Street said. “Maybe it was because I faced [Orlando] Cabrera first. He had never been one of my teammates. The once you get the first out, it was very much like [normal]. We had a two-run lead and I didn’t want them to get anyone on base.”


Street said before the game sharing stries with his old teammates made the experience fun. The time Street has been in a Rockies uniform gave him quite a few stories to discuss with old friends.


Street won the closer job in Spring Training, lost it in late April even though he didn’t blow a save, and regained it. Through it all, he has succeeded on all but one of his 18 save chances.


That’s quite a bit of activity for a guy that folks thought wouldn’t still be here.


Street came as part of the Matt Holliday trade with the Athletics in November. But with Manuel Corpas on the club, there was immediate speculation that the Rockies would flip Street to another club. It didn’t happen then. Streets name came up in trade rumors early this year when the Rockies struggled early, but now that the team has jumped into the Wild Card race — and Corpas is out with a bone chip issue in his elbow — that has died again.<p>


“I want to be a part,” Street said. ‘This is our job, like anything else. You want to feel comfortable when you have your job. You want to be happy to go to work every day. When your job entails winning, where there’s a game to be played, you want to feel you have a chance to win when you show up every day. I feel like I’ve got all three of those things.”


Street has welcomed the trade all along, despite the brief period when former manager Clint Hurdle removed him because his pitches weren’t crisp. It was in a stretch when save opportunities were few, but Street understood.


“When I got the closer’s job in Spring Training, they said, ‘You’re going to have to pitch well to keep it,’ so I didn’t keep it,” Street said. “I felt Clint was very honest about me when he gave me the job, when he took the job from me, and when he gave it back to me. That’s why I have so much respect for that man. As a team we took full responsibility for what happened to him.


“That being said, Jim Tracy, our new manager, I can not say enough great things about that man. It’s not a compare and contrast. Simply, Jim Tacy has come in and done a fantastic job. He’s made little adjustments with the team that we needed. We needed a little bit added discipline.”


During his inning on Friday, Street took a line drive off his right forearm.  The arm was heavily iced on Saturday. Tracy said Street was available for the game.


Corpas has MRI on sudden elbow problem

The Rockies’ smooth sailing was interrupted Friday afternoon when right-handed setup man Manuel Corpas showed up at the clubhouse with inflammation in his throwing elbow, and wound up undergoing an MRI. The results are not yet available.


Corpas has thrown scoreless ball in eight of his last 10 outings. He pitched in the last two games and had no indication of injury.


“It stunned him and it stunned us,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “As a matter of fact, he threw the ball even better yesterday than the he did on Wednesday.


“He threw a minimal number of pitches. We are obviously going to be proactive on this and we want to find out what the heck is going on with this — immediately.”


Immediately, Tracy said, it could push rookie Matt Daley into a setup role. Tracy could also play matchups using Daley, right-hander Joel Peralta and left-hander Alan Embree.


Friday night’s opener of a three-game set with the Pirates presents Tracy with a strategic challenge. Huston Street labored in his last outing, a save Thursday against the Rays in which he gave up two runs but escaped. Tracy said he was leaning against using him Friday, but he has not determined who his closer will be.


If Corpas needs to go to the disabled list, the most-experienced option at Triple-A Colorado Springs is Juan Rincon, who is 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA in eight appearances. Rincon is 32-27 with a 3.84 ERA in 416 Major League games with the Twins Indians and Tigers.

No patience with walks

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle has attempted to maintain a consistent and calm demeanor, even though the execution and fundamentals the Rockies emphasized all spring have been lacking. But that patience disappears when relievers can’t throw strikes in the late innings of close games.

Huston Street lost his closer job that way last week at Wrigley Field. Tuesday night, Hurdle unceremoniously yanked righty setup man Jason Grilli when he walked two in the eighth inning of the 9-6 victory over the D-backs.

There would have been cause for Hurdle to try to let Grilli escape. By using lefty Alan Embree to complete the inning, Hurdle left himself with only Manuel Corpas to finish the game. The only other reliever on the squad, Jason Hammel, had thrown two innings the previous game, and Franklin Morales’ injury early in Tuesday’s game meant Hammel was going to move into the starting rotation.

But he was not going to lose a game because Grilli wasn’t throwing strikes.

“We’ve got no time for walks late in ballgames,” Hurdle said. “Nobody. We’re not going to put up with that. If you can’t throw the ball over the plate late in a ballgame, I’ve got to get somebody else. It’s that simple.

“If you want more, and you’ve got an opportunity to do more but you walk two left-handed batters and you’re missing on your arm side six or seven straight pitches, I’ve got to go get you. He knows that.

“You saw the guy two nights ago, then you saw the guy last night. I asked him, ‘Which guy are you?’ That’s part of the challenge that’s in front of him. If you want more, do more.”

Here are the lineups for Wednesday afternoon:


Ryan Spilborghs              CF

Jeff Baker                        2B

Todd Helton                     1B

Garrett Atkins                  3B

Brad Hawpe                     RF

Troy Tulowitzki                SS

Chris Iannetta                   C

Seth Smith                      LF

Jorge De La Rosa              P


Felipe Lopez                   2B

Stephen Drew                 SS

Conor Jackson                LF

Mark Reynolds               3B

Chad Tracy                    1B

Chris Young                   CF

Eric Byrnes                    RF

Chris Snyder                   C

Dan Haren                      P

Street is the closer — now comes the real test

The Rockies named Huston Street their closer, instead of Manuel Corpas. That came as somewhat a surprise to me, although not a complete one. Street has pitched with increasing sharpness as the spring has progressed, and he has a greater level of expereince than Corpas.

It’s a huge step for Street, who lost the closer job with the Athletics last season because of a hip flexor strain. He had a quadriceps strain early in camp, and that was repsonsible for some poor performances. But pitching coach Bob Apodaca reassessed Street’s program for preparing for the season, correctly spotted some flaws and put him on the right track.

The surprise for me was the Rockies tend to stay with known quantities. Corpas came up through their organization, and his work as closer was a catalyst in the team’s trip to the 2007 World Series.

I remember writing here some time ago, that the Rockies wanted Corpas to be more aggressive, less “civilized,’ to borrow a term from Apodaca. After seeing the angry look on Corpas’ face as he talked on his cellphone and borded the team bus, they may get their wish.

Somehow, Corpas will have to channel his anger into effective pitching in the eighth inning. Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, the staff and the front office will have to make sure the relationship isn’t strained. They have him signed for four seasons.

So, with 22 of the first 27 regular-season games against National League West foes and the other five against the Phillies and Cubs, Street had better be good and Corpas had better be ready in case he isn’t.


Decision time?

The Rockies did not open their clubhouse to the media this morning. This nearly always means roster moves, so it’s a big day at Hi Corbett Field.

This year’s decisions are tougher than ever. Prospect Dexter Fowler gets harder and harder to send down to Triple-A Colorado Springs, but has anyone really played himself out of the starting lineup so Fowler can get regular playing time?  Also, reserve-types Matt Murton and Daniel Ortmeier have performed well enough to earn bench spots, but so have Jeff Baker and Omar Quintanilla.

Also, the big decision that should come down today is the closer. Will it be Huston Street or Manuel Corpas?

Stay tuned.

Breathing easily

Good evening, everyone. It’s Thursday evening. If you’re back in Denver, sorry. That is, unless you enjoy shoveling snow. Some folks do. All I can say is I admire you.

Anyhow, I have a few thoughts about this afternoon’s 8-6 loss to the Dodgers, besides whatever appears in stories on the site. Here goes:

— Todd Helton had two doubles and is up to .423 in the Cactus League. Great sign, but what impressed me today was what I saw from him defensively. He dove for a hit that turned into an RBI double, but he didn’t hesitate to make that dive. After years of back problems, he wouldn’t have been blamed for thinking twice about it. Who knows? Maybe the intensity of a regular-season game would have given him the reach he needed to make that play. He also made a nice pickup and throw to the plate to cut down a runner.

Manager Clint Hurdle knows he needs to keep an eye on Helton’s back. But he also sees a player who doesn’t leave him breathless with worry.

“He is playing with freedom,” Hurdle said. “I am by no means on the edge of my seat watching his every move.”

— Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa had a bad inning, when he gave up five runs in the fourth. He also had four clean innings. So you can take what you want from this one. He could have minimized the damage, but walked pinch-hitter Doug Mientkiewicz and opened the door for the Dodgers. Breezing through the next inning was a good sign, but you’d like to see him stop trouble when it’s in progress.

Despite the 9.42 spring ERA, there is no wavering on De La Rosa as the No. 4 starter. 

— Outfield backup hopeful Scott Podsednik went 0-for-4 and is down to .231. He will need a strong finish to secure a job, especially with Matt Murton and Daniel Ortmeier hitting well and Dexter Fowler trying to change the thinking that he needs time in Triple-A. If the Rockies don’t go with Podsednik, they lose experience. Podsednik readily shares his knowledge with fellow outfielders, but production trumps that.

— One moment looked scarier from the press box than it was. On one of the two times catcher Chris Iannetta threw out a runner attempting to steal, he was hit on the left arm by backswinging bat. But Iannetta didn’t flinch. Getting clubbed with a bat is just part of the job.

That’s it for tonight. I need to pace myself. Tomorrow I’ll hit you with some thoughts on the closer competition, specifically where Manuel Corpas stands in the competition with Huston Street. 

Colonel wows his manager

Prospect Christian Colonel, who has received extensive playing time this spring because of injuries to third basemen Garrett Atkins and Jeff Baker, had manager Clint Hurdle talking about his ninth-inning, three-run homer in Monday’s 8-3 victory over the D-backs at Tucson Electric Park.

“I was waiting to hear some cars,” Hurdle said before making a car alarm sound.

— Baker, limited to two games this spring because of an elbow issue, was available but did not play Monday. Hurdle said Baker will start at third base on Tuesday against the Royals.

— Atkins has been out lately with a strained right hip flexor, but told the Denver Post on Monday that his right groin is sore, and limiting his lateral movement. Hurdle said after Monday’s game that there is no reason to push him into the lineup Tuesday. The club is off on Wednesday.

— Closer candidate Huston Street struck out two in two spotless innings on Monday. After struggling in his first two official spring outings, Street has thrown three perfect innings in his last two appearances. Righty releiver Jason Grilli, coming off a poor outing against the Mariners (three hits, two runs in one inning), walked one on Monday but pitched a scoreless inning. Lefty Glendon Rusch was credited with a save Monday after giving up three hits and a walk but no runs in two innings. He has thrown 4 1/3 scoreless innings in Cactus League games. He did give up two runs, one earned, in an intrasquad contest.

Lineup time … and welcome to the Ranter

Left fielder Seth Smith, who has received so many kudos from the Rockies about his swing that he’s getting a chance to start this year, will hit from the No. 2 spot in Wednesday afternoon’s Spring Training opener against the D-Backs. Also, with first baseman Todd Helton not yet ready for regular action (he was spotted heading for a workout and hitting session), Brad Hawpe takes the No. 3 spot in the order. Garrett Atkins will bat cleanup and Troy Tulowitzki, whi hit second and seventh last season, is batting fifth.

Here’s the lineup in its entirety:

Ryan Spilborghs   CF

Seth Smith           LF

Brad Hawpe         RF

Garrett Atkins      3B

Troy Tulowitzki     SS

Chris Iannetta        C

Joe Koshansky    1B

Clint Barmes        2B

Aaron Cook           P


I pulled up to Hi Corbett Field this morning and saw, in all its glory and splendor, The Rockpile Ranter’s Mobile Blog Unit. Welcome to Tucson. I’d have taken a picture, but I was afraid that a security force would have apprehended me. But now that my intentions are known, a snapshot shouldn’t be a problem. Should it?

— Here’s a little more: today’s pitching schedule.

Cook (two innings)

Ubaldo Jimenez (2)

Manuel Corpas (1)

Alan Embree (1)

Juan Morillo (1)

Jason Grilli (1)

Ryan Mattheus (1)

Here is pitching schedule for tomorrow against the White Sox.

Jason Hirsh (two innings)

Franklin Morales (2)

Taylor Buchholz (1)

Huston Street (1)

Cedrick Bowers (1)

Shane Lindsay (1)

Ryan Speier (1)

Pitchng schedules are always subject to change, of course.