Can We Kick Kip?

The Colorado Rockies are seeking vengeance against former mate Kip Wells (1-3, 2.82) later this afternoon at Petco Park in San Diego.  Colorado sends left-hander Jeff Francis (2-2, 4.76) to the mound to face the Padres in a 6:35 MDT start.

Wells stifled the Rockies on July 1 at Coors Field, shutting them out over seven innings in a 2-0 San Diego victory, scattering six hits and striking out two.  The right-hander is the very definition of a journeyman, the Padres his eighth MLB employer in an 11 year major league career dating back to 1999. Wells was drafted no. 16 overall by the Chicago White Sox in 1998.  The earlier start against Colorado was only his second since 2009 with Cincinnati.  The Reds released him the following spring, beginning an odyssey that saw him pitch with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League in 2010 and in the Arizona system in 2011 before signing a minor league deal back with Chicago this spring.  He was released in April then signed another minor league deal, this one with San Diego, which called him up in late June.  Wells pitched in 15 games with the Rockies in 2008, developed blood clots in his pitching hand, and was eventually released.  He has a 68-102 career mark in 293 games with a modest 4.68 ERA that would be the envy of most of the Colorado starters.

Francis has been the Rockies’ most consistent starter since his June 6 acquisition.  He allowed one run on six hits in five innings of Colorado’s 5-4 victory over Pittsburgh on Monday.  Wells struggled in his last appearance, losing 2-0 to the Astros but walking five while throwing 86 pitches, only 46 of which were strikes in 4 1/3 innings.

Weather in San Diego will be pleasant at game time, with temperatures in the low 70’s, high humidity approaching 70%, and west-northwest winds 8 to 9 mph.  MFL Jim Tracy trots out his standard lineup tonight, with Ramon Hernandez at catcher as Wilin Rosario rests with a gimpy ankle.  Center-fielder Chris Denorfia is back in the lead-off spot for Bub Black’s Padres:

COLORADO (35-57)
CF        Dexter Fowler
2B        Marco Scutaro
LF        Carlos Gonzalez
1B        Michael Cuddyer
RF        Tyler Colvin
3B        Jordan Pacheco
C          Ramon Hernandez
SS        Josh Rutledge
P          Jeff Francis
SAN DIEGO (49-40)
CF        Chris Denorfia
2B        Logan Forsythe
3B        Chase Headley
LF        Carlos Quentin
C          Yasmani Grandal
1B        Yonder Alonzo
RF        Jesus Guzman
SS        Everth Cabrera
P          Kip Wells


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