Results tagged ‘ Michael McKenry ’

Rockies: Helton, Hernandez rest; Colvin gets a start

Rockies manager Jim Tracy decided Wednesday to give veteran first baseman Todd Helton and catcher Ramon Hernandez extra rest by not starting them in Wednesday’s first game of a doubleheader against the Pirates at PNC Park. Jason Giambi started at first base and Willin Rosario was the catcher.

Game 1 also gave the Rockies an opportunity to start Tyler Colvin in center field. Colvin, hitting .323 in part-time duty, started instead of Dexter Fowler, who is at .224 after getting a hit in Tuesday night’s 5-4 loss to the Pirates.

“Hernandez and Helton, just because of the opportunity to give them a few more hours to recharge their batteries,” Tracy said. “I’m looking at our lineup in Game 1 and Game 2 and feeling real good about the fact that these lineups right here can win on any given day.

“I’m not taking anything away from Dexter because I’m using Dexter in the second game, but I want to keep Tyler Colvin in play and try to find him games to be involved in.”

Tracy said he plans to start left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who homered twice Tuesday night, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and right fielder Michael Cuddyer in both games.

Right-handed relief pitcher Zach Putnam, recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs as the 26th player (allowed under new Collective Bargaining Agreement rules for doubleheaders), will wear No. 54. Putnam was 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA, three saves, 11 strikeouts and three walks in five Triple-A appeareances. Last season, Putnam appeared in eight games with the Indians (1-1, 6.14 ERA, nine strikeouts, two walks), and came to the Rockies over the winter for pitcher Kevin Slowey.

The Pirates are a heavily right-handed hitting team, which plays into the hands of today’s starting pitchers, Juan Nicasio and Jhoulys Chacin. Nicasio has held right-handed hitters to a .226 career aveage in a big-league career that has consisted of 14 starts last year and three this yer, and Game 2 starter Jhoulys Chacin has held righties to a career .208 average. This year, righties are hitting .100 (3-for-30), the fourth-lowest average among right-handed pitchers in baseball.

Rockies, Game 1

Marco Scutaro, 2B (.224)

Tyler Colvin, CF (.323)

Carlos Gonzalez, LF (.278)

Troy Tulowitzki, SS (.293)

Jason Giambi, 1B (.273)

Michael Cuddyer, RF (.322)

Wilin Rosario, C (.261)

Chris Nelson, 3B (.239)

Juan Nicasio, RHP (1-0, 6.19 ERA)

Pirates, Game 1

Alex Presley, LF (.288)

Jose Tabata, RF (.196)

Andrew McCutchen, CF (.339)

Neil Walker, 2B (.222)

Casey McGehee, 1B (.289)

Pedro Alvarez, 3B (.108)

Clint Barmes, SS (.146)

Michael McKenry, C (.286)

James McDonald, RHP (0-1, 3.45 ERA)

 

Rockies get backup backstop

The Rockies acquired backup catcher Jose Morales from the Twins on Thursday for Minor League left-handed pitcher Paul Bargas. Morales will be the primary backup to Chris Iannetta.

Morales, who turns 28 on Feb. 20, has hit .297 in 74 Major League games over three seasons for the Twins, who have star Joe Mauer as their regular catcher and Drew Butera as his primary backup.

By acquiring Morales, the Rockies also bought time for a deep group of catching prospects.

Before Morales arrived, Michael McKenry, who hit .265 in 99 games at Triple-A Colorado Springs and had eight at-bats in six Major League games, was in line for backup duty.
 
Wilin Rosario, who turns 22 on Feb. 23, was playing well at Double-A Tulsa — .285 with 19 homers and 52 RBIs — and had appeared in the Futures Game during All-Star Weekend before suffering a season-ending knee injury. After reconstructive surgery, Rosario is expected to be ready to play early in Spring Training, but the Rockies don’t want to pressure him to move quickly.
 
The Rockies also have Jordan Pacheco, who turns 25 on Jan. 30, is coming off a head-turning offensive season in which he hit a combined .323 at Class-A Modesto and Tulsa, and followed that up with a .317 season in the Arizona Fall League.
 
The Rockies have also signed former Cardinal Matt Pagnozzi for depth.

 

Bargas, 22, a 13th-rpound pick out of Cal-Riverside in 2009, went 5-4 with a 3.59 ERA in 58 relief appearances at Class A Asheville last season.

 

Prospects sent out for regular work

Left-hander Christian Friedrich, the Rockies top choice in the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft, warmed up a few times but never made it into a Cactus League game. The Rockies wanted the first big-league camp to be a learning experience, and it was all that. But now he can only learn with regular work and game action.

Friedrich was one of the first 16 players the Rockies sent to Minor League camp on Tuesday.

Here is the list:

Left-handed pitchers: Friedrich.

Right-handed pitchers: Alberto Alburquerque, Craig Baker, Juan Nicasio, Edgmer Escalona, Andrew Johnston, Chaz Roe, Andrew Graham and Shane Lindsay.

Catchers: Jordan Pacheco, Michael McKenry and Wilin Rosario.

Infielders: Darin Holcomb, Hector Gomez and Jeff Kindel.

Outfielders: Chris Frey.

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.

Hirsh among the cuts

Things haven’t been the same for Rockies right-hander Jason Hirsh since the Brewers’ J.J. Hardy hit him in the right leg with a line drive on Aug. 7, 2007. At that time, Hirsh was a rookie and seemed to be learning how to pitch in the Majors. Since then, it’s been a lot of pain and disappointment.

The pain came last season, when shoulder problems made his big-league opportunities minimal.

The disappointment came Monday, when he was one of 13 players the Rockies moved out of Major League camp. Hirsh technically was optioned to the Minors.

Right-handed pitchers Samuel Deduno, Shane Lindsay, Ryan Mattheus and Steven Register, as well as infielders Hector Gomez, Chris Nelson and Eric Young, Jr. were optioned to the Minors. Left-handed pitcher Cedrick Bowers, right-handed pitchers Matt Daley and Brandon Hynick, catcher Michael McKenry and outfielder Matt Miller were non-roster players who were reassigned to Minor League camp.

Intrasquad Tuesday

Here are the lineups for Tuesday’s intrasquad game at Hi Corbett Field:

Team 1

Dexter Fowler, CF

Omar Quintanilla, SS

Joe Koshansky, 1B

Matt Miller, LF

Daniel Ortmeier, RF

Christian Colonel, 3B

Chris Nelson, 2B

Sal Fasano, C

Team 2

Eric Young Jr., 2B

Chris Frey, CF

Ian Stewart, 3B

Matt Murton, RF

Seth smith, LF

Edwin Bellorin, 1B

Paul Phillips, C

Jonathan Herrera, SS

Listed on the lineup card are two extra catchers, Wilin Rosario and Michael McKenry.

Manager Clint Hurdle kept most of the team’s starters and frequently used reserves out of the lineup. But Stewart and Smith each have crowds at their position, so the at-bats are important.

Non-roster veteran right-hander Josh Fogg, hoping to make the club for Opening Day, is pitching. Otherwise, the club will use its prospects in the game. Right-handed starters Esmil Rogers, Jhoulys Chacin, Brandon Hynick and Samuel Deduno are scheduled for two innings apiece. Righty relievers Matt Daley and Steven Register will throw an inning apiece.

– Left-hander Randy Flores, who is coming off shoulder surgery, is not on this week’s pitching schedule. He came to camp on a modified throwing program.

– Left-handed reliever Alan Embree has returned to camp after missing a day for personal reasons.

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