Results tagged ‘ Rafael Betancourt ’

Cuddyer back in lineup

Rockies right fielder Micahel Cuddyer returned to the lineup today, against the Mariners, for the first time since being hit in the hand with a pitch from the Rangers’ Yu Darvish on Friday night.

Cuddyer was originally scheduled to play Sunday against the Indians, but was scratched before the game.

“[Sunday] I picked up the bat and swung a little bit, and only took about five swings and was afraid this thing was going to blow up again,” Cuddyer said. “I wanted to take yesterday to see if I could do it. I hit, and there was no problem.”

Cuddyer said he is excited for Friday night’s opener at Houston, after playing all or parts of the last 11 seasons with the Twins.

“For Opening Day, I was always anxious, nervous, butterflies,” Cuddyer said. “I get butterflies for every game. Now, being with a new team, new fan base, new organization, new league, I almost feel like a rookie again. In Houston, I’ll be facing three pitchers and I’ve only faced one of them before — like, three at-bats.

“Feeling like a rookie again is fun.”

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was out for the second straight day after being hit on the left elbow by the Indians’ Ubaldo Jimenez — who was issued a five-game suspension and undisclosed fine after Major League Baseball determined that the act was intentional. Tulowitzki was to hit in the batting cage today.

Here is the Rockies’ lineup for today’s next-to-last Cactus League game:

Marco Scutaro, SS

Dexter Fowler, CF

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Todd Helton, 1B

Jason Giambi, DH

Ramon Hernandez, C

Jordan Pacheco, 3B

Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Rockies pitching for today:

Juan Nicasio, RHP

Matt Belisle, RHP

Rafael Betancourt, RHP

Rex Brothers, LHP

 

 

Rockies roster set

Rockies manager Jim Tracy announced his Opening Day roster on Monday, although there will be some changes in the early days of the season. Left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz won’t be activated until April 15, when he is scheduled to pitch, and lefty Jamie Moyer won’t be activated until he starts Saturday against the Astros.

One spot is up in the air. Left-handed reliever Josh Outman is battling food poisoning. If he won’t be ready for Friday, the Rockies will have to make an adjustment by bringing back right-hander Alex White, who was optioned to the Minors on Monday.

Tracy also said he is comfortable setting a roster with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki active. Tulowitzki suffered a bruised left elbow on Sunday when hit by a pitch from the Indians’ Ubaldo Jimenez.

Here is the roster for Friday’s opener against the Astros:

PITCHERS (11) — Jeremy Guthrie, Juan Nicasio, Jhoulys Chacin, Matt Belisle, Rafael Betancourt, Rex Brothers, Tyler Chatwood, Matt Reynolds, Josh Roenicke, Esmil Rogers, Josh Outman

CATCHERS (2) — Ramon Hernandez, Wilin Rosario

INFIELDERS (7) — Todd Helton, Marco Scutaro, Troy Tulowitzki, Jordan Pacheco, Chris Nelson, Jason Giambi, Jonathan Herrera.

OUTFIELDERS (5) — Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, Michael Cuddyer, Tyler Colvin, Eric Young Jr.

Hitting coach wants better mechanics from Fowler

Rockies hitting coach Carney Lansford heard that center fielder Dexter Fowler visiting Las Vegas with Jason Giambi, Troy Tulowitzki and others for offseason workouts. He saw a stronger Fowler arrive at Spring Training.

Now he is looking at Fowler’s .114 batting average through his first 14 Cactus League games and wondering if there is a connection.

“He lifted a lot this offseason, got a lot stronger, so he’s trying to hit the ball farther, which is a huge mistake for him,” Lansford said Tuesday morning. “I don’t mind him lifting. I just don’t want him changing mechanics from what he did the second half of last season.”

Fowler added a leg kick to his swing in the middle of last season, during a demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs. He returned with improved timing and put up strong second half numbers. But Lansford and manager Jim Tracy have noticed that the kick wasn’t the same. Corrections are being made in hopes of avoiding a slow start, something Fowler has suffered through the last two years.

“He was picking [his foot] up too far, and his hands were not in the right spot, either,” Lansford said. “He’s going back to where he feels comfortable with his hands. He’s actually starting to swing the bat better. We’ve got nine days left. It would be the perfect time to get right, going into the season.

Fowler had another rough day at the plate Monday against the Angels, but Tracy said his swing was bettr and he hasn’t carried his offensive struggles to the field.

Usually the leadoff hitter, or No. 2 hitter on days Tracy experiements with Marco Scutaro in the top spot, Fowler hit eighth Tuesday afternoon against the D-backs. Eric Young Jr. batted leadoff and started in left. Jonathan Herrera, fighting the numbers game for an Opening Day roster spot, is hitting second and Scutaro is batting third.

ROCKIES LINEUP

Eric Young Jr., LF

Jonathan Herrera, SS

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Ramon Hernandez, C

Todd Helton, 1B

Jordan Pacheco, 3B

Tyler Colvin, RF

Dexter Fowler, CF

Jeremy Guthrie, RHP

ROCKIES RELIEF PITCHING

Rex Brothers, LHP

Josh Roenicke, RHP

Rafael Betancourt, RHP

Keith Weiser, LHP

Zach Simons, RHP

D-BACKS LINEUP

Gerardo Parra, LF

Aaron Hill, 2B

Justin Upton, RF

Lyle Overbay, 1B

Ryan Roberts, 2B

Henry Blanco, C

John McDonald, SS

Patrick Corbin, LHP

D-BACKS RELIEF PITCHING

Craig Breslow, LHP

Joe Paterson, RHP

Bryan Shaw, RHP

Mike Zagurski, LHP

Brad Ziegler, RHP

Also, the Rockies are using right-handed pitcher Guillermo Moscoso in a Minor League game.

Multiple injury updates, lineups for Rockies-Dodgers

– After hitting and taking groundball Friday, Rockies third baseman Casey Blake — who must prove he is healthy after neck surgery last year to hold onto a starting job — planned a full workout on Saturday with hopes of playing Sunday. Saturday will be the sixth straight day Blake has missed five days because of soreness in the trapezius muscle.

– Left-handed pitcher Jamie Moyer was “virtually pain-free,” according to Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger, when he threw a bullpen session on Saturday morning. Moyer planed a long day of strengthening, flexibility and treatment after the session. Moyer had been scratched from a Minor League start on Friday.

– Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who left Thursday’s start with a blister on his right index finger, said Saturday morning he was about to throw a 30-35-pitch bullpen session. Chacin left his start Thursday with the ailment after throwing 44 pitches in three innings. He said he does not expect to have any problem making his next scheduled start, on Tuesday against the Padres at Peoria, Ariz.

– Chris Nelson, competing to step into the void at third base if Blake can’t answer the bell, will start Saturday against the Dodgers at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Other players in the lineup needing big performances to make the squad are outfielders Eric Young Jr. and Andrew Brown, and catcher Wil Nieves.

– Rockies righty Drew Pomeranz threw 35-40 bullpen pitches Friday, will throw again on Sunday, and will start in a game on Wednesday. Pomeranz left his last start with right glute tightness.

ROCKIESS LINEUP

ROCKIES RELIEF PITCHING

DODGERS LINEUP

Dee Gordon, SS

Mark Ellis, 2B

Andre Ethier, RF

Adam Kennedy, 1B

Juan Uribe, 3B

Tony Gwynn Jr., CF

A.J. Ellis, C

Cory Sullivan, LF

Nathan Eovaldi, RHP

DODGERS RELIEF PITCHING

Alberto Castillo, LHP

Fernando Nieve, RHP

Will Savage, RHP

Ryan Tucker, RHP

Logan Bawcom, RHP

Brent Leach, LHP

Padres to visit Rockies; big day for Rogers

Right-handers Jeremy Guthrie for the Rockies and Cory Luebke for the Padres will face one another today at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, but the more important pitching performance will come later.

(Of course, fans may listen live. It was brought to my attention yesterday that evidently all games aren’t free. There is a subscription service. I did not know that all Spring Training games weren’t free. My mistake. But the subscrption service is a great deal. Of course, I’m not a salesman, and I have a vested interest — I like eating, paying bills, etc. But it seems to me you get a bang for your entertainment dollar. Anyhow …)

The Rockies will give right-hander Esmil Rogers his second appearance of the spring. He needs to have a good one. After an invonsistent 2011 during which he went 6-6 with a 7.05 ERA in 18 games, including 13 starts, Rogers opened Spring Training by giving up three earned runs on three hits and four walks in one inning agaisnt the Giants.

Rogers, 26, has flashed potential at times, has looked lost at other times. He won a job in the starting rotation coming out of last spring, but suffered a right lat inury in May, missed more than 2 1/2 months and was hit-and-miss the rest of the year. He also has struggled at Coors Field (1-3, 8.47 ERA in 22 games, including seven starts) in his career.

It’s clear that Rogers brings talent, and manager Jim Tracy considers him a competitor for a spot in either the rotation or the bullpen. But there is a time element involved. He is out of Minor League options, meaning he cannot be sent down without being exposed to waivers.

Today also marks the first time that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will have been in the starting lineup on consecutive days.

(Oh, on another note outside of what’s happening on the field. I will be away from the club for a few days. Owen Perkins, who has covered the Rockies and a variety of other teams for MLB.com, will be covering. Please read him on www.coloradorockies.com  him, and follow him on Twitter, @owenperk )

Here is the Rockies’ batting order:

Dexter Fowler, CF

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Todd Helton, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Casey Blake, 3B

Wilin Rosario, C

Jeremy Guthrie, RHP

Rockies relief pitching plan:

Esmil Rogers, RHP

Matt Reynolds, LHP

Rafael Betancourt, RHP

 

Nicasio to pitch against Athletics; Smith not making trip

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio, coming back from a broken neck that he suffered last year, gets his first Cactus League outing today against the Athletics at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Nicasio threw two impressive innings in an intrasquad game on Sunday. Listen free to an exclusive webcast.

Nicasio has insisted all along he has no fear of balls coming back to him. He suffered the frightening injury last Aug. 5, when a line drive from the Nationals’ Ian Desmond struck him in the temple.

Interestingly, the Athletics have agreed to forego the designated hitter, so Nicasio will also have to bat.

For the second time this spring, the Rockies are starting Charlie Blackmon in the leadoff spot. Blackmon, batting for the fourth outfield spot, homered off the Giants’ Tim Lincecum on Wednesday. Also, catching prospect Wilin Rosario will start.

The Athletics are not bringing former Rockies outfielder Seth Smith, who was sent to Oakland during the offseason for pitchers Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman.

Here are the lineups:

ROCKIES BATTING ORDER

Charlie Blackmon, CF

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Casey Blake, 3B

Wilin Rosario, C

Juan Nicasio, P

ROCKIES SCHEDULED RELIEVERS

Tyler Chatwood, RHP

Edwar Cabrera, LHP

Rafael Betancourt, RHP

Stephen Dodson, RHP

ATHLETICS BATTING ORDER

Jemile Weeks, 2B

Eric Sogard, SS

Coco Crisp, CF

Josh Reddick, RF

Kurt Suzuki, C

Brandon Allen, 1B

Josh Donaldson, 3B

Brandon Moss, LF

Brandon McCarthy, RHP

ATHLETICS SCHEDULED RELIEVERS

Jerry Blevins, LHP

Andrew Carignan, RHP

Grant Balfour, RHP

Fabio Castro, LHP

Items of interest for today’s Rockies intrasquad game

– Rockies fans in the Scottsdale area can watch the game from a berm above Field 1 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. But get there early for the game, which should start at 10 or 10:15 a.m. The scrimmage might not go more than 4 1/2 innings.

– Eric Young Jr. has played the outfield twice, in Friday’s intrasquad game and Saturday’s 1-1, 10-inning tie with the D-backs in the Cactus League opener. But he will play second base Sunday.

– The intrasquad contest will be the first game action for right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio, who has made remarkable progress in his return from a broken neck that he suffered when hit in the face by a line drive last season.

– There is plenty of competition for outfield jobs. Charlie Blackmon, Tyler Colvin and non-roster candidates Andrew Brown and Jamie Hoffmann will be competeing in the game.

– Righty Tyler Chatwood, obtained from the Angels for catcher Chris Iannetta during the offseason, makes his Rockies debut. Chatwood threw 142 innings for the Angels last year at age 21.

– Two hard-throwing relievers who could make a big impact thsi year — left-hander Rex Brothers, who is in line for chances to close games when Rafael Betancourt needs a rest, and right-hander Edgmer Escalona, who showed promise during a late call-up last season — are scheduled to appear.

Betancourt’s deal goes official

Rockies reliever Rafael Betancourt passed his physical, which makes his new contract official. The Rockies picked up his 2013 option and added an option for 2014 for Betancourt, who became the Rockies’ closer late last season.

In addition, Betancourt and new Rockies catcher Ramon Hernandez were boyhood friends and state all-star teammates in Venezuela. Hernandez’s history with young pitchers should help the Rockies’ staff.

Rox agree to deal Street, can pursue pitching or Cuddyer

DALLAS – The Rockies agreed to trade their former closer, Huston Street, to the Padres on Wednesday and are aggressively pursuing improvements that aren’t limited to starting pitching, sources told MLB.com. The teams are completing negotiations, but the Padres are expected to pick up much of Street’s $8 million guarantee for 2012.

According to multiple sources with knowledge of the deal, some cash will go the Padres’ way, but there is enough salary relief for the Rockies that they can entertain other deals.

MLB.com has learned that the Rockies have contacted the Braves with interest in arbitration-eligible right-handed pitcher Jair Jurrjens, a talented young arm who is expected to make around $5 million through arbitration in 2012 and is under club control through 2013. CBS Sports reported Tuesday night that eight teams have approached the Braves. The Rockies also have discussed trade scenarios with the Reds involving right-hander Edinson Volquez, and they approached righty Hiroki Kuroda last week but made it clear they will to clear salary to make a deal work.

But the Rockies also have coveted free-agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer and have the dollars to pursue him. Theoretically, the Rockies can use their left-handed hitting outfielder Seth Smith as a chip to fill holes, pitching and otherwise. However, the Rockies will not include center fielder Dexter Fowler — whom they believe is in for a breakout season — in any deal.

The move also offers the Padres, who are expected to send the Rockies a player to be named, some flexibility as they replace Heath Bell as closer. Street is due $7.5 million this year with a $500,000 buyout on a 2013 option worth $9 million. If Street has a standout season – and he’s working at PETCO Park, a pitcher-friendly venue – the Padres will not have to pursue another closer on the open market before 2013.

Rafael Betancourt, who supplanted Street as closer last season, is projected for the role with the Rockies this year. The Rockies then could develop righty Chad Bettis, who struck out 184 against 45 walks at Class-A Modesto as a starter, to be the closer of the future.

Keep an eye on Rockies pitching, Barmes discussions could occur today

As MLB.com reported last week and as the Denver Post reported last night, the Rockies’ wide-ranging search for an innings-eating starting pitcher, or two, includes standout free-agent right-hander Roy Oswalt (4-0, 2.25 ERA in five career starts at Coors Field).

The Post reported that the Rockies won’t trade for the Astros’ Wandy Rodriguez, who want quite a bit in return. But just about any young, accomplished starter is on the radar — the Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez, and the Rays’ Jeff Neimann and Wade Davis. All have been Rockies targets before. The Rockies are interested in their one-time No. 1 pitcher Jeff Francis and Kevin Millwood, who finished last season in purple pinstripes, as well as, according to the Post, Paul Maholm.

The Rockies are dangling left fielder Seth Smith in trade talks for either a pitcher or a second baseman, or both. That helps explain the pursuit of Grady Sizemore, who is recovering from right knee surgery but, according to his agent, will be ready to start Spring Training and to start the season.

If they don’t make a trade at the keystone position, they could look to the past and pursue Clint Barmes, who played for the Astros last season but had spent all is previous seasons with the Rockies. Barry Meister, Barmes’ agent, will arrive at the MLB General Managers meetings in Milwaukee today. Although there have been internal discussions about Barmes — who is attractive to the Rockies because he can move to shortstop if Troy Tulowitzki needs a break or is banged up — there had not been negotiations as of yesterday. Barmes is receiving interest at a shortstop and a second baseman, and is open to playing each spot.

Potential trade targets are the Braves’ Martin Prado and the Padres’ Orlando Hudson, with the Rockies already having had discussions with the Braves.

In the coming weeks, watch for the Rockies to seriously explore dealing right-handed reliever Huston Street, who is guaranteed $8 million next year. Rafael Betancourt ended up supplanting Street as closer late in the regular season.

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