Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (3-0, 1.46) returns to the mound this afternoon after a stint on the 15-day Disabled List. He’ll match-up against the Tampa Bay Rays’ Alex Cobb (3-2, 2.55) as the Colorado Rockies look to take 2 of 3 from the Rays in the weekend series. Chacin had just finished 6 shutout innings against the Diamondbacks on April 19 when he felt discomfort in what was at first believed to be an oblique, but turned-out to be a general, mild strain, after Miguel Montero grounded-out leading-off the 7th. A point of much discussion the past several days, the Rockies are being ultra-cautions with physical issues this season, and they shut Chacin down for two starts to ensure he is sound. Cobb is a 25-year old righty in his 3rd MLB season. He’s been steady so far in 2013, but got knocked about a bit (4 runs and 10 hits) in a 5-2/3 inning appearance Tuesday in Kansas City.
Chacin was replaced in the rotation by 23-year old right-hander Tyler Chatwood, who held Atlanta to 4 runs in 6 innings on April 24, then shut-out the Dodgers for 6 on Tuesday, leading to no shortage of intrigue over who gets sent back to the Sky Sox to make room for Chacin. Neither Jeff Francis nor Juan Nicasio have inspired a great deal of confidence, energizing the roster-move speculation. The Rockies have quashed fans’ need for intrigue, however, as Chatwood and Ryan Wheeler, up for Todd Helton, were optioned back to Colorado Springs.
Colorado manager Walt Weiss has penciled-in what looks to be the “permanent” first-team lineup (for a Sunday afternoon!), with Nolan Arenado moving-up to the 2-slot and Helton coming-off the DL to hit 6th at 1st base. Tampa Bay has Jose Lobaton and Sean Rodriguez back in their lineup at catcher and shortstop respectively. And speaking of respect, His Honor James Loney will hit cleanup.
It’s going to be a mid- to high-50°s day under partly cloudy skies and 36% relative humidity over at 20th and Blake this afternoon. The wind has shifted around a bit to the south, and will blow across and out from right to left at about 7 MPH. George and Drew will have the Vinny dolls today (I promise) for TV on ROOT sports. Radio’s on 850 am KOA.
IN GAME CHAT
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