Results tagged ‘ Ubaldo Jimenez ’

Helton takes a rest on the edge of 2,000

Rockies first baseman Todd Helton had started all but three of the team’s first 35 games this season. So he took a well-deserve rest on Sunday.

Helton is presumably available for pinch-hit and defensive duty, so there’s a chance he’ll get the one hit he needs to each 2,000 for his career. But manager Clint Hurdle kept him out of the starting lineup.

Hurdle, Helton and the training staff stay in constant contact about how Helton feels, since he underwent back surgery at the end of last season. After a long streak in the lineup, Helton felt the need to step back on Sunday.

“You need to give him some breaks, and this is one he is embracing, because he has been full-throttle for a large volume of games,” Hurdle said.

Hurdle took his three games off during the early days of the season. But given the caution the team is taking, no one expected Helton to have played so much at this point.

“I’d say pleasantly surprised, but I hate to use the word surprised when it comes to Todd because he’s capable of so much with his mindset, his determination, his resiliency,” Hurdle said. “He’s playing more than I anticipated him being able to play and he’s playing at a high level.”

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is batting third for the first time in his career, Garrett Atkins, after a hard work day Saturday to improve his hitting, is playing first base, and Dexter Fowler, who is having strikeout issues from the right side, is on the bench.

Rockies

CF Ryan Spilborghs

2B Clint Barmes

SS Troy Tulowitzki

RF Brad Hawpe

LF Matt Murton

1B Garrett Atkins

C Yorvit Torrealba

3B Ian Stewart

P Ubaldo Jimenez

Pirates

RF Delwyn Young

2B Freddy Sanchez

CF Nate McLouth

1B Adam LaRoche

C Robinzon Diaz

LF Brandon Moss

3B Andy LaRoche

SS Jack Wilson

P Zach Duke

No hot seat, but still …

I’ve been asked on a number of radio shows recently about the jobsecurity of Rockies manager Clint Hurdle. It’s logical. After all, the D-backs fired Bob Melvin, and that team had a slightly better record than the Rockies. I said all along that it’s not the Rockies’ style to make such a quick change. None of my sources have said anything different. If there was heat, it was from the outside. A story in the Denver Post today confirms; ownership isn’t looking to make the big change.

Anyhow, here’s the issue: they’ve got to score to win. The Rockies’ pitching was supposed to be weak, yet the staff leads the National league with a 2.81 ERA in May. Their May record is 4-6 going into Tuesday night’s game against the Astros at Coors Field.

hHit and everyone stays employed. Or at least that’s the way it seems to me.

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will do his part tonight. The pain from the quadriceps strain he suffered Sunday is manageable, so he’s in the lineup. 

Here are tonight’s lineups:

Astros

Kazuo Matsui                   2B

Michael Bourn                  CF

Lance Berkman                1B

Carlos Lee                        LF

Miguel Tejada                   SS

Hunter Pence                   RF

Geoff Blum                       3B

Ivan Rodriguez                   C

Felipe Paulino                   P

Rockies

Dexter Fowler                  CF

Troy Tulowitzki                SS

Todd Helton                    1B

Brad Hawpe                    RF

Garrett Atkins                 3B

Seth Smith                     LF

Chris Iannetta                   C

Ian Stewart                     3B

Ubaldo Jimenez                P

Murton gets a shot … maybe

Recent callup Matt Murton is in the llineup in left field as the Rockies prepare to face the Giants and accomplished lefty Randy Jonhnson at AT&T Park. Well, they hope to play. But it’s raining and cold and nasty here. It’s often cold and nasty in The City by the Bay. Beautiful city, lousy weather.

With Johnson the mound, manager Clint Hurdle gave another day off to right fielder Brad Hawpe, a left-handed hitter. Hawpe was hit in the back of the neck by a thrown ball on Monday, and suffered a contusion that kept him out of the next two games. Hawpe said he would feel good enough to play tonight.

Anyhow, here are the lineups:

Rockies

Dexter Fowler            CF

Matt Murton               LF

Todd Helton               1B

Garrett Atkins            3B

Ryan Spilborghs        RF

Troy Tulowitzki          SS

Chris Iannetta             C

Clint Barmes             2B

Ubaldo Jimenez          P

Giants

Randy Winn              LF

Edgar Renteria          SS

Pablo Sandoval          3B

Bengie Molina             C

Aaron Rowland           CF

Fred Lewis                 LF

Travis Ishikawa           1B

Emmanuel Burriss      2B

Randy Johnson            P

 

Wrigley in the rain

Who knows if we’re going to get in the Cubs’ home opener. It’s been raining steadily all day. But if it works out, here are the lineups:

Rockies

Dexter Fowler          CF

Ryan Spilborghs       LF

Todd Helton             1B

Brad Hawpe            RF

Troy Tulowitzki        SS

Jeff Baker               2B

Chris Iannetta           C

Ubaldo Jimenez        P

Cubs

Alfonso Soriano      LF

Ryan Theriot          SS

Kosuke Fukudome  RF

Derrek Lee             1B

Mike Fontenot         3B

Reed Johnson         CF

Aaron Miles            2B

Koyie Hill                 C

Ted Lilly                   P

 

Game 2 lineup — Barmes is in there

The Rockies went with the lineup that was expected coming out of Spring Training. That means Clint Barmes, who didn’t start Monday’s opener (Ian Stewart went 1-for-3 with an RBI before being replaced by Barmes, who was 0-for-2), is in the lineup.

Stewart was in for the left-on-right matchup with D-backs starter Brandon Webb. Tonight’s starter, Dan Haren, also is a tough righty. But it turns out there isn’t a favorable matchup for the two second basemen. Barmes is 1-for-12 and Stewart 1-for-9 against Haren. The other second baseman for the Rockies, Jeff Baker, is 1-for-2 against Haren.

Those who hit Haren well are catcher Chris Iannetta (4-for-9, .444), center fielder Ryan Spilborghs (4-for-11, .364) and third baseman Garrett Atkins (4-for-13, .308, 1 HR, 4 RBIs).

At any rate, here is the lineup:

Ryan Spilborghs         CF

Seth Smith                 LF

Todd Helton                1B

Garrett Atkins             3B

Brad Hawpe                RF

Troy Tulowitzki            SS

Chris Iannetta               C

Clint Barmes               2B

Ubaldo Jimenez            P

Baker on the move, out of the lineup

Rockies infielder Jeff Baker, who has played just two games this spring because of an elbow strain, originally was supposed to start at third base Tuesday against the Royals. The first lineup card had him at second base. But before gametime, Baker was out of the lineup, but he could see some time at first base.

There was no new injury. It’s just that Baker has not had enough time taking groundballs and making throws as a third baseman or second baseman to be put into a game at those two spots.

“Today, I took some grounders at second, which was a good first step,” Baker said. “I just want to brach out. Hopefully, I’ll keep doing good and keep progressing.”

Third baseman Garrett Atkins did special exercises and stretches for his strained right groin. Head trainer Keith Dugger said Atkins will take the day off with the rest of the club Wednesday, then do more exercises and hitting Thursday before the club decides the next move.

The lineup:

Ryan Spilborghs              CF

Seth Smith                     LF

Todd Helton                    1B

Brad Hawpe                    RF

Troy Tulowitzki                SS

Clint Barmes                  2B

Christian Colonel            3B

Yorvit Torrealba                C

Ubaldo Jimenez               P 

Calling out the pitchers

Rockies right-hander Jason Marquis upheld a tradition for veteran pitchers. After some ugly numbers Saturday against the Mariners — 3 2/3 innings, nine hits, five runs, two walks, 88 pitches — he chalked it up to just being in Spring Training.

“For the most part, I executed a lot of pitches like I wanted to, and [hits] found some holes,” Marquis said. “A lot of positives, a lot of two-strike counts. It was a step in the right direction. I got my pitch count up. That’s why we’re here, to work on a few things, get some things straightened out. I think I’ve got four starts left.

“I didn’t really use my changeup as much as I would during the season. I was trying to get my curveball over for a strike — not only for a strike, but bury it when I needed to and throw it for a strike when I needed to. There were certain counts when I don’t think I would have thrown my curveball normally, but today I did. I tried to get a better feel for a cutter, not spinning it so much.”

Normally, that’s a right afforded pitchers who have been around. Marquis qualifies, having pitched for the Braves, Cardinals and Cubs.

But manager Clint Hurdle wasn’t as happy with Marquis’s direction.

“He had too many deep counts,” Hurdle said. “As a staff, we’re not executing anywhere near the level we’re going to need to execute to be successful. As a group, we’re talking about throwing 70 percent first-pitch strikes. We’re not doing it. We’re talking about acute location of our fastball, arm-side. We’re not doing it, so more of the same today.

“We’ve got some guys that are showing some flashes of some things, but as a staff, we’ve got to cover some ground here.”

Informed that Marquis said he was working on some pitches, Hurdle sounded as unhappy with the explanation as the performance.

“It’s time they started making comments after a game that ‘I commanded my fastball, I threw strikes, my slider was sharp, I had a good sinker,’” Hurdle said. “That’s what we need to start doing.”

It was clear Hurdle was delivering a message, not just to Marquis but to all of the starters. Only Aaron Cook and Ubaldo Jimenez, who has done his most-recent pitching for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, have been consistently solid. 

It’s not as if Hurdle threatening massive changes in the rotation. The Rockies traded for Marquis to provide veteran leadership. That won’t change. Hurdle has been exceedingly patient with Jorge De La Rosa, who has struggled his last two times out and will meet the Dodgers on Sunday. The team is still trying to sort through a host of pitchers for the fifth starting spot.

Hurdle’s call for better quality might be as much a clarification as a declaration.

Some of the ugly early performances from starters occurred because the pitchers were under orders to work on one thing — fastball command — and had to pitch to a specific pattern. Hitters quickly figured out what pitch was coming. The Rockies relaxed those orders after each pitcher had a couple of starts.

But how close are the Rockies supposed to be to the form they need for a regular season that starts 23 days from now? The way Hurdle spoke on Saturday, it’s not close enough.

– Hurdle also was not happy with right-handed reliever Jason Grilli, who pitched well for Italy in the World Baseball Classic but gave up three hits and two runs in his inning.

“We’ve got to have improved focus and discipline off the mound,” Hurdle said. “Twenty pitches, poor fastball command, pitching one side of the plate. We’ve got way to many guys pitching one side of the plate that aren’t good enough to be pitching one side of the plate. These are things and areas we need to target and work on as we move forward.”

– Left-handed non-roster candidate Cedrick Bowers gav eup three runs on one hit and two walks before leaving with a back/rib cage injury that has hampered him all spring.

– Righty Ryan Speier continued his scoreless spring (six innings) by giving up one hit and a walk but striking out two in the ninth.

More injuries … and, OK, some good news

Right-handed reliever Taylor Buchholz will miss 4-6 weeks for with a strained ulnar collateral tendon in his throwing elbow. Also, the Rockies scratched third baseman Garrett Atkins from the lineup for Thursday’s exhibition game with Mexico because of a strained right hip flexor. Christian Colonel replaced him.

Now for good news:

Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez pitched three scoreless innings with four srikeouts, and two hits, for the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic team against the Cardinals on Thursday.

New week, new pitching schedule

Here is the Rockies’ pitching schedule for the week:

Monday vs. Angels at Hi Corbett Field: Franklin Morales, Huston Street, Jason Hirsh, Juan Morillo and Esmil Rogers.

Tuesday at Brewers at Mayvale Baseball Park (Phoenix): Greg Smith, Alan Embree, Greg Reynolds, Ran Mattheus.

Wednesday, “B” game vs. D-backs: Jason Marquis, Glendon Rusch, Josh Fogg, Huston Street, Taylor Buchholz, Ryan Speier.

Thursday, exhibition vs. Team Mexico (World Baseball Classic) at Hi Corbett Field: Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Brandon Hynick, Shane Lindsay, Steven Register.

Friday vs. Padres at Peoria: Aaron Cook, Huston Street, Alan Embree, Taylor Buchholz, Ryan Mattheus, Esmil Rogers.

Saturday vs. Giants at Scottsdale: Jason Hish, Ryan Speier, Franklin Morales.

To recap, here are the players who are missing because of the World Baseball Classic: catcher Chris Iannetta (Team USA), right-handed starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (Dominican Republic), right-handed closer Manuel Corpas (Panama), right-handed reliever Jason Grilli (Italy) and Minor League right-handed reliever Adam Bright (Australia). Right fielder Brad Hawpe would have played for the U.S., but he suffered a lacerated pinkie on his left (throwing) hand Friday that required four stitches.

Comforting a teammate …

Center fielder Ryan Spilborghs was back at Hi Corbett Field on Sunday morning. He had left camp to be with his family after his mother, Essie, died on Friday.

Spilborghs had plenty of friends to help comfort him.

The Rockies played the Indians at Goodyear, Ariz. But shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who originally was supposed to make the trip, stayed back and worked out with Spilborghs and the other teammates. This was a case when something else was more important than a few innings of an exhibition game.

Here is Sunday’s lineup:

Scott Podsednik            CF

Clint Barmes                 SS

Seth Smith                    LF

Garrett Atkins                3B

Matt Miller                     DH

Carlos Gonzalez            CF

Sal Fasano                     C

Jonathan Herrera           2B

Omar Quintanilla           3B

Right-hander Aaron Cook is pitching. Also, righty Ubaldo Jimenez is making his last appearance before leaving to join the Dominican Republic team for the World Baseball Classic. 

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