Results tagged ‘ Jorge De La Rosa ’
Rockies right-handed reliever Rafael Betancourt was scratched from his scheduled appearance in Thursday’s Cactus League opener against the D-backs at Tucson Electric Park. There isn’t an injury. It’s just that Betancourt lost three weeks of season preparation because of a virus.
Betancourt said he became ill just after Christmas, and didn’t work out until going to Denver for his preseason physical Jan. 19. He dropped about 10 pounds. After the visit to Denver, Betancourt went to Jacobs Field in Cleveland — he was with the Indians his entire Major League career until being traded to the Rockies last July — to continue season preparation.
There is no other physical issue, Betancourt said. But he wants to face hitters at least twice more before entering game competition.
“The first time I faced a hitter was Saturday,” Betancourt said. “I feel like I need a little bit more to be able to pitch in a game.
“I told the pitching coach [Bob Apodaca] I want to go step-by-step. If I pitch the first game, I don’t feel I’m doing that. It’s like I’m rushing everything. This is Spring Training. I have to be real smart.”
The Rockies will have left-handed starter Jorge De La Rosa pitch two innings Thursday. Right-hander Jason Hammel is scheduled to start and throw two innings.
Also, right fielder Brad Hawpe reported that the infection in an ingrown toenail on his left foot has subsided to the point that he can begin baseball activities on Monday. Hawpe said it’s likely he will miss at least the first couple of days of Cactus League games, but he will be fine.
A hard and chilly rain hit Tucson right around the time the Rockies’ pitchers and catchers were scheduled to end their drills during Saturday morning’s workout. It forced the team to change some plans for post-workout conditioning, but manager Jim Tracy said the baseball work was done.
Tracy is calling on his pitchers to be versatile offensively. Most of the time they’ll be asked to advance runners, with the bunt being the No. 1 weapon. But if pitchers develp the ability to slug-bunt for a base hit in such a situation or hit-and-run, suddenly Tracy can make surprise calls — or at least give the opponent other factors to consider.
“You look at those great Braves clubs with [Greg] Maddux, and [John] Smoltz, and [Tom] Glavine, and, back in the day, [Steve] Avery,” Tracy said. “One of the things you knew, and this goes back to when I was a coach in Montreal, they started and were able to do a lot of things. When they walked to the plate, yes, you knew a bunt was in order and there were times they would do that.
“But you had to be concious about the fact they could possibly do anything. That alone right there eased the opportunity for you to get the job done.”
Jason Marquis, one of baseball’s best offensive pitchers, took his bat and arm to the Nationals this winter after a strong 2009 for the Rockies. But Aaron Cook is such a versatile hitter that former manager Clint Hurdle used him as a pinch-hitter, and Jeff Francis has been more-than respectable at the plate.
At one point, stories of Ubaldo Jimenez’s ineptitude with the bat were sources of comedy, and Jorge De La Rosa wasn’t good, eithre. Now Jimenez is advanced with the bat. De La Rosa won an important game with the Mets last season with a double. Tracy said Jason Hammel, who had been in the American League with the Rays before being traded to the Rockies at the start of the seaso, also improved as last season progressed.
Here are some early Spring Training thoughts:
– Lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who led the Rockies in wins last season with 16, can become a free agent at season’s end. De La Rosa said his ambition is to have a strong year to earn the right to stay with Colorado.
– Left-hander Jeff Francis not only is healthy after missing last year with shoulder problems, but he’s actually ahead of many of the other pitchers because of the intense offseason work. Francis faced hitters in the Dominican Republic a few weeks ago.
– Righty Greg Reynolds, the team’s top pick in the 2006 Draft, underwent surgery after the season to correct an issue with his labrum. Almost amazingly so, Reynolds is healthy enough to begin the spring without restrictions. Pitching coach Bob Apodaca said Reynolds’ motion — which the club believes was at the root of his troubles — has cleaned up considerably.
– The Rockies will have 32 pitchers in camp. Righty Taylor Buchholz, who underwent Tommy John elbow ligament transfer surgery last season and hopes to return to the Majors in June, is the only pitcher not healthy enough to be a factor.
Apodaca said right-handed reliever Casey Weathers, the top pick in 2007, was not invited to Major League camp so he could have a little more time to make sure his elbow is healthy. Weathers missed last season because of Tommy John surgery.
– Lefty Christian Friedrich, the team’s top choice in 2008, said being invited to this camp gives him the opportunity to closely study Francis’ delivery.
The Rockies’ signing of right-hander Tim Redding to a Minor League conract with an invitation to Major League camp gives the pitching staff a much-needed veteran reinforcement.
The Rockies go into Spring Training with a rotation already penciled — left-handers Jeff Francis and Jorge De La Rosa, and right-handers Aaron Cook, Ubaldo Jimenez and Jason Hammel. But that apple cart could be upset if Francis needs extra time early in the year, after missing last year because of shoulder surgery, or one of the others is hurt or struggles.
Redding, 32, provides an experienced option. If he pitches well and makes the club, he could fill the role the club envisioned for Jose Contreras, who instead signed with the Phillies. After Redding, the most-experienced option is lefty Greg Smith, who missed last season with various illnesses and ailments. Smith threw 190 1/3 innings as a rookie with the Athletics in 2008.
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.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy decided not to bring in a starter to take the place of the injured Aaron Cook (right shoulder soreness) for Tuesday’s turn in the rotatoin. With the Rockies off on Monday, left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (12-9, 4.72 ERA) will start Tuesday’s opener against the Mets, followed by right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez and Jason Marquis. The next time the Rockies will need a starter is next Saturday at home against the D-backs.
Tracy said Cook, who received good news from last week’s MRI, will not be ready for next Saturday but could be ready thereafter. With manager Jim Tracy against using a reliever for a start — righty Josh Fogg’s start against the Dodgers on Wednesday did not go well — the starter will likely come from Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The Rockies have an opening in their pitching rotation and a day that they need one — Tuesday at home in the opener of a three-game set against the Mets. Manager Jim Tracy said he has determined who will start, but he knows who won’t: Josh Fogg.
Fogg, as Tracy noted, has been a valuable innings-saver in the bullpen in the long relief role. But filling in for the injured Aaron Cook Wednesdsay night, Fogg gave up six runs and four hits in three innings pitched in a 6-1 home loss to the Dodgers. Fogg had made 20 appearances, exclusively in relief, since being called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Tracy determined that Fogg is too conditioned to relief pitchng to be put back in a starting role.
“We’re better served with him serving in the role that he’s been serving in, as the savior of our bullpen, so to speak,” Tracy said before the Rockies opener of a three-game set against the Giants on Friday night. “He’s done such an incredible job in doing that for us. I think we really are doing him a disservice to send him out there to try to start games.”
The optons are to call up someone from the Minors, or smply skip the spot and allow left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to pitch on four days’ rest. Tracy said he is evaluating whether the other four members of the rotation would be better off pitching with normal rest or if an extra day would be beneficial.
Earlier this post mentioned veteran Russ Ortiz, currently pitchng at Triple-A Colorado Springs, as a possibility. But Ortiz started tonight and went six innings, giving up five runs on eight hits in a loss. That would make him unlikely to pitch Tuesday on short rest.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy was asked about his team’s 16-22 record against the National League West. His reply was, essentially, the record isn’t as bad as it looks.
“I don’t think we’ve had struggles inside the National League West,” Tracy said. “I think we had some struggles specifically with one club in the early part of the season. But as far as the rest of the division is concerned, we played very good baseball.”
That one club, of course, is the Dodgers, against whom the Rockies are 2-10.
“And as we go forward, we have to be mindful of that, and hopefully through the months of August and September rectify that situation somewhat,” Tracy said. “I said at the end of the L.A. series, we’re 2-10 against them, I believe. But as far as I’m concerned, you can take those 12 games and throw them out the window because the six games we have left with them are the most important. Not to say that the other 12 weren’t, but they don’t have much baring moving forward because of where we’ve come from and where we’re at sitting here today.”
Well, that’s a subject for another time. The Rockies first post-All-Star break series at home is against the D-backs. And the Rox are 4-5 against them.
Here are the lineups:
This could turn out well for third baseman Garrett Atkins and the Rockies.
Atkins lashed three hits, including a home run, Wednesday against the Angels, and is back in the lineip for Friday night’s opener of three against the Athletics. If this is Atkins’ showcase for a trade, then so be it.
Atkins has hit .302 (13-for-43) this month, with three home runs and six RBIs in 15 games. Also, the Athletics are starting left-hander Dallas Braden, and Atkins is 9-for-his-last-21 against lefties.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy is proud of how Atkins has worked despite being supplanted by Ian Stewart at third base.
“He has been a complete professional,” Tracy said. “And I really believe if I’m looking at this correctly, from some of the types of at-bats I’ve seen him take as of late, he’s real interested of making a statement, ‘I’m still the Garrett Atkins that drove in over 100 runs three out of the last four years.’
“If he continues to force the issue that way, then obviously he will force our hand to do something very positive for the Colorado Rockies.”
Atkins will hit cleanup and clint Barmes, who went 0-for-12 in three games against the Angels, will bat ninth. Ryan Spilborghs moves into Barmes’ No. 2 hole. Here are the full lineups for both teams:
Dexter Fowler, CF
Ryan Spilborghs, LF
Todd Helton, 1B
Garrett Atkins, DH
Brad Hawpe, RF
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Chris Iannetta, C
Ian Stewart, 3B
Clint Barmes, 2B
Starting pitcher — Jason Hammel
Adam Kennedy, 2B
Jack Cust, RF
Matt Holliday, LF
Jason Giambi, DH
Kurt Suzuki, C
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Ryan Sweeney, CF
Daric Barton, 1B
Jack Hannahan, 3B
Starting pitcher — Dallas Braden
What’s cool about a small-market franchise like the Rockies having success, as they did in 2007, is guys that are considered journeymen can attain immortal status. Infielder Jamey Carroll, now with the Indians, is one. Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba has not had the same playing time he did back then, but his home run to send the Rockies to the World Series will never be forgotten.
Right-handed pitcher Josh Fogg also enjoys a status here that will never die. In 2007, he displayed a penchant for pitching the Rockies to wins when they faced big-name pitcher. Suddenly, folks started calling him The Dragonslayer.
Fogg parlayed his success in Denver into a free-agent contract with the Reds last season. The dragons caught up with him in Cincinnati. Actually, they were the dragons from within. His throwing motion becamre so out of whack that he experienced no success with the Reds, and all he could land was a Minor League deal with the Rockies for 2009. It took until now for Fogg to correct what went wrong.
Now he’s back. The Rockies jettisoned righty Matt Belisle and brought back Fogg for the long relief role. There may be some spot-starts for him, but his role will be out of the bullpen.
It’s a challenge. The sporadic work in the bullpen with the Reds helped lead to the complete destruction of his mechanics. But it’s an opportunity.
He’ll never lose his Dragonslayer status. But that was then. He’ll have to show he can handle his new role to attract greater appreciation.
Fogg’s return in a Rockies uniform — he’ll wear 51 instead of 37, which belongs to Ryan Speier — could be Monday against the Dodgers. But rain falls as this is being written. So if there is baseball, here are the lineups:
Juan Pierre, CF
Russell Martin, C
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Casey Blake, 3B
Matt Kemp, CF
James Loney, 1B
Jamie Hoffman, RF
Juan Castro, SS
Eric Stultz, P
Dexter Fowler, CF
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Todd Helton, 1B
Ryan Spilborghs, LF
Brad Hawpe, RF
Garrett Atkins, 3B
Clint Barmes, 2B
Yorvit Torrealba, C
Jorge De La Rosa, P