Results tagged ‘ Manuel Corpas ’
The Rockies filled a key spot in their bullpen by acquiring right-hander Matt Lindstrom from the Astros. Full details will come soon.
Lindstrom, who turns 31 on Feb. 11, went 2-5 with a 4.39 ERA for the Astros last season. The Rockies attempted to acquire him in November, when they obtained righty Felipe Paulino from the Astros for second baseman Clint Barmes, but the clubs could not find a match.
Lindstrom is 10-13 with a 4.00 ERA in 249 relief appearances with the Marlins (2007-09) and the Astros (2010). According to media reports, the Astros were looking to deal the arbitration-eligible Lindstrom for payroll-management reasons.
Lindstrom, who has an offseason home in the Denver area, is a strike-thrower — 187 career strikeouts to 91 walks in 225 innings. He also has earned 43 career saves, including 23 for the Astros last season. Lindstrom began last season as the Astros’ closer, but he went to the disabled list with a back issue and never regained consistency. Lindstrom joins Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle as primary right-handed setup men.
A key reason for acquiring Lindstrom is for protection in case right-hander Huston Street is injured. Street missed the first 69 games of last season with a shoulder injury and suffered some setbacks during his rehab. Left-hander Franklin Morales, who is still with the club, struggled when replacing Street. Manuel Corpas, the Rockies’ one-time closer, had some success in the role but was released after the season.
The trade for Lindstrom also pushes the Rockies’ Major League roster to the limit of 40, which means they’ll need to either make all further signings Minor League contracts, or they’ll have to make a move to add someone on a Major League deal. The Rockies have acknowledged that they’re trying to re-sign left-handed starter Jeff Francis, their No. 1 pitcher before shoulder injuries marred his last two seasons, and left-handed reliever Joe Beimel.
It’s been a rapid fall for onetime Rockies closer Manuel Corpas. In 2007, he was one of the key figures in the team’s unexpected run to the World Series. He was rewarded with a four-year, $8.025 million contract. But since then, inconsistency and injuries has derailed his career. Now word comes down that the Rockies have placed him on unconditional release waivers.
Corpas, who had bone chips removed from his elbow in 2009, underwent Tommy John ligament transfer surgery on his right elbow late in the 2010 season. It’s unclear if he was going to contribute to them at all in 2011.
The move was necessary from the Rockies’ standpoint. They can’t afford to tie up a spot on the 40-man Major League roster with a player who might not be able to contribute. They also have Huston Street as closer and several right-handed relievers to cover them late in games — Rafael Betancourt, Matt Belisle, Manny Delcarmen, and Matt Daley, who is expected to make a full recovery from late-season shoulder problems. Still, it turns heads when the team says goodbye to a key member of a magical squad.
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.
Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa is ready for 2010. And he’s in regular-season form almost 2 1/2 months earlier than last year.
De La Rosa held the Reds to one run — a first-inning leadoff home run by Drew Stubbs — in 5 1/3 innings of the Rockies’ 9-1 victory on Monday afternoon. De La Rosa struck out five, gave up three hits and walked one.
It’s a dramatic improvement from the struggles of last spring, when he went 2-2 with a 6.86 ERA in six starts. He followed that with an 0-6 start through April and May, but finished 16-9. Through five starts this spring, De La Rosa is 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA, 16 strikeouts and four walks.
“I started slow last year but I always believed that we would have a good team,” De La Rosa said. “Now, I don’t put pressure on myself. Now I know you can’t put pressure on yourself. I’ve got to go out there, enjoy the game and throw strikes.”
Most significant about the outing was the Reds went with a lineup that conceivably could take the field on Opening Day.
“They’ve got a very good lineup,” De La Rosa said. “If I face them during the season, now I know more.”
Concern over whether De La Rosa would bounce back from something like the leadoff homer is old news. He doesn’t let that bother him. But manager Jim Tracy took time to appreciate how far De La Rosa has come.
“There was a time early last year when that would be a rallying point,” Tracy said. “You’re sitting there immediately after one hitter wondering where is this start going to go. He was just like, ‘Hey, give me anther ball. Let’s get back to work.'”
— Righty Manuel Corpas, who has been up and down for most of the spring, had a smooth seventh inning. he gave up a one-out, Juan Francisco single, but nothing else. Corpas fanned Wladimir Balentien to end the frame.
Tracy said he hasn’t given up on the idea of Corpas being in the closer mix. Left-hander Franklin Morales has pitched better, and he handled the role well when Huston Street was injured last September. Street will begin this season on the disabled list with shoulder tightness.
Tracy said he hasn’t committed to anything yet, and he doesn’t need to until closer to the season. Before making decisions, he wants to see consistency out of Corpas.
“There’s enough time left this spring where you hope there’s a leveling off, where we see a couple of more times like we just saw today,” Tracy said.
— Matt Belisle had his fifth scoreless appearance of the spring. Monday’s was significant because he had one day off after his previous outing. Belisle has been bothered by forearm stiffness, so pitching well with reduced risk is a positive development.
“I can still hear the ball,” Tracy said. “You hear what I said? I can still hear it coming out of his hand. I’ve seen the same guy the last three times out. ‘Here I am, coming after you, punding the zone.’ “
— Minor League infielder Brad Eldred homered twice on Monday, and has three homers in three Spring Training appearances.
Eldred played for Tracy with the Pirates a few years back, and provides depth in the corners.
“I’m familiar with him and his style, really like him a lot, and the experience I had for a short time a few years ago,” Eldred said. “Hopefully, we can get back together again.
“He told me before the game that I was going to play all nine. He said to make sure I get my swings in. I made the most of it.”
— Second baseman Clint Barmes knocked his second homer of the spring, a two-run shot in the third inning off Bronson Arroyo. Barmes is hitting .344 this spring.
— Infielder Chris Nelson, playing shortstop, made a diving catch of a line drive and fashioned a game-ending double play in the ninth inning. Nelson was sent to Minor League camp on Sunday but made the bus trip.
— Infielder Jonathan Herrera also made a diving catch at third base. After entering as a reserve, Herrera went 1-fof-1 with a double and a walk after entering as a reserve. Herrera, a non-roster invitee, is hitting .421 this spring, and has made good defensive plays in the infield and outfield.
— Catching prospect Jordan Pacheco knocked a three-run double in the seventh, and has driven in seven runs in seven games.
Rockies left-hander Greg Smith’s presence means the Rockies have starting rotation depth. His performance in Cactus League play has been far better than one would expect from a depth guy.
Smith held the Athletics to one run and three hits in five innings of Friday’s 10-4 Rockies victory. He also struck out six, and had his third successful pickoff of the spring.
Still, it would take some misfortune on someone’s behalf for him to make the team to start the season, since the Rockies have five starters.
Since Smith underwent elbow surgery after a promising rookie season with the Athletics in 2008 and didn’t pitch in the Majors last year because of shoulder and back ailments, he isn’t being considered for bullpen duty. That means he most likely will begin the year at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
“They haven’t said a word to me, so my next step is work out tomorrow,” Smith said. “I’m whatever they tell me, whenever they tell me.”
Rather than be concerned about that, Smith is trying to continue his development. On Friday, he was behind in the count more than manager Jim Tracy would have liked, and didn’t spot his pitches to his glove side the way he wanted. He also was kicking himself for not successfully placing a bunt in his second at-bat.
Nonetheless, Smith’s 1.93 ERA matches the sparkling ones posted by confirmed rotation members Jorge De La Rosa and Jason Hammel.
“I wish it was a year earlier,” said Smith, who barely participated in Spring Training because of the flu and shoulder tightness. “But you learn a couple things being hurt. You learn what you should have done, what you should do, what to fix. This year was all about being healthy. I think I’ve made that step.”
Tracy said Smith was passable, but could be better.
“‘Smitty’ got ’em out but he got them out dealing with a lot of hitter’s counts,” Tracy said. “He seems to be one of those types of craftsmen where he seems to always have one more pitch.
“Yet, I know that from an effectiveness standpoint, it will be difficult for him to go out there and pitch every fifth day, and pitch from behind.”
— Right-hander Tim Redding gave up two runs on three hits, including a triple and a double, in his one inning. Redding had competed for the rotation, but it was his first appearance after being converted to bullpen duty.
Tracy said part of it was just getting used to a new role. Redding attacked hitters well but didn’t locate payoff pitches.
“He threw his strikes, he got through his inning, and we’ll realize the fact that it was the first time we brought him out of the bullpen, then we’ll see what the follow up is,” Tracy said.
— Righty Manuel Corpas had two outs in his inning, but gave up a Daric Barton home run.
“Corpas was down,” Tracy said. “He did give up the home run to Barton. It was a sinker that didn’t sink enough.
“I wanted to see him get the ball down, and that’s what he did today.”
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.
Right-hander Tim Redding, trying to make the Rockies as a non-roster invitee (either as a starter or a reliever), threw three perfect innings in Wednesday’s 5-0 loss to the Royals.
Knowing that the Rockies have one of baseball’s best defenses, Redding is trying to take advantage.
“My whole goal this Spring Training is to see how many times I can get the ball hit on the ground,” said Redding, who forced four groundouts but also was on the mound for two infield errors. “I’m not a notorious groundball guy, but I’m not a straight flyball guy. But I’ve pitched in Denver before, and the more I get the ball on the ground and keep it on the ground, the less damage is going to be done.
“If I keep the ball down, they can still hit it in the air but they’re not going to hit it with a lot of power behind it.”
In the second of Redding’s innings, though, he struck out the side. Was that part of his reinvention plan?
“I haven’t struck out the side in an inning of any kind in a long time,” he said. “That felt kind of good. I was like, ‘What the heck just happened?'”
In other developments — Righty reliever Manuel Corpas gave up a run in one inning of relief, but manager Jim Tracy said he kept the ball down in the strike zone for all but one pitch. … Utility man Jonathan Herrera, an infielder by trade who also is working in the outfield, made a diving catch of a line drive in right field.
The Rockies are playing at Hi Corbett Field and at Tucson Electric Park, against the D-backs in both games.
Here is the lineup fro the game at Hi Corbett:
Eric Young Jr., 2B
Clint Barmes, SS
Carlos Gonzalez, CF
Miguel Olivo, C
Melvin Mora, 3B
Michael Paulk, 1B
Cole Garner, RF
Jay Payton, LF
Aaron Cook, RHP
Here’s the rest of the pitching: RHP Samuel Deduno, LHP Christian Friedrich, RHP Manuel Corpas, LHP Randy Flores.
Here is the lineup for the game at TEP
Dexter Fowler, CF
Omar Quintanilla, 2B
Seth Smith, LF
Ryan Spilborghs, RF
Ian Stewart, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
Hector Gomez, SS
Jeff Kindel, 1B
Franklin Morales, LHP
Here is the rest of the pitching schedule: RHP Juan Nicasio, RHP Andrew Graham, RHP Juan Rincon, RHP Justin Speier, LHP Matt Reynolds.
Righty reliever Manuel Corpas, who missed the second half of last season with elbow issues, walked two and gave up a hit but didn’t surrender a run in his return to the mound, in the fifth inning of Monday’s 11-1 Cactus League-opening victory over the D-backs at Tucson Electric Park.
Corpas, who hasn’t regained the form he showed as closer for the 2007 National League Champion Rockies, finished on a high note, by working Justin Upton into a double-play grounder.
“He was missing, but in missing he was missing down in the zone,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “They were not non-competitive misses, but they were balls down out of the zone. The area where we want the ball to be was correct, but the command of the area, the ocntrol of the area, was not exactly where we’ve seen Manny Corpas be in the past.
“He’s aware of it. He’ll get there. But what I liked about it was he kept his shoulders back, real broad, when he needed to make a pitch, and got a double-play ball, inning over.”
It’s time to turn on the radio and dream of a regular season ahead. The Rockies will open Cactus League play today at 1:05 p.m. against the D-backs at Tucson Electric Park. Here is the Rockies’ lineup.
2B Eric Young Jr.
1B Paul Lo Duca
CF Carlos Gonzalez
RF Ryan Spilborghs
LF Seth Smith
C Chris Iannetta
3B Ian Stewart
SS Jonathan Herrera
RHP Jason Hammel
Here is the rest of the Rockies’ pitching schedule for today: LHP Jorge De La Rosa, RHP Manuel Corpas, RHP Juan Rincon and LHP Franklin Morales. The backups, in case any pitcher struggles, are right-handers Alberto Alburquerque, Shane Lindsay, Edgmer Escalona and Andrew Johnston.
D-backs pitchers will be RHP Billy Buckner, RHP T.J. Beam, RHP Bob Howry, LHP Tom Layne and RHP Leo Rosales.