Colorado Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood apparently has nothing more than what back in simpler times we called a “pulled muscle” in the upper part of his throwing arm, and will miss only tonight’s scheduled start, avoiding, for now, the Disabled List. Jeff Francis will return from his own turn on the DL to make the start, in a 5:15 pm MDT contest against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field in Denver. To make room for the left-hander, reports say late-spring acquisition Jon Garland will be designated for assignment, preempting any immediate need to disable Chatwood. In the meantime, reliever Rob Scahill, promoted May 29 with the Rockies returning to Denver for 14 of their next 17 games, presided over batting practice for the Padres in Friday’s 7th inning, casting doubts upon his Major League worthiness. Manuel Corpas is anchoring the long-end of the Colorado bullpen with closer Rafael Betancourt out and not expected to return until well beyond the June 16 expiration his his 15 day DL term. Eric Young Jr, whose limited functionality has been exposed in extended 2013 playing time, hangs on the roster by a thread as Big Money Michael Cuddyer nurses what many fear is a recurrence of the oblique strain that ended his 2012 campaign, and all the while we hear from Carlos Gonzalez that the knee he tweaked in his 6th inning at-bat Friday has been troubling him “to be honest… since spring training.” Clubhouse stability aside, the Rockies are 5-2 for the first week of June, and moved ahead of San Francisco into 2nd place in the National League West, 2-1/2 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Francis (2-3, 6.00) pitched well in his May 14 start against the Cubs, allowing one run in 6 innings on just 3 hits while striking out 7. Two days later he went down with with a left groin strain. Francis will face fellow lefty Eric Stults (4-5, 3.74). Stults pitched well Monday at Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles, but took the loss in a 2-1 defeat to the Dodgers. He allowed both runs in 7 innings, surrendering 6 hits, walking none, and striking-out 3.
Colorado fans will be delighted to discover Young back in Walt Weiss’ Saturday line-up, hitting 2nd behind Dexter Fowler. More inspiring, perhaps, Gonzalez returns as well, following Young in the 3-hole. Jordan Pacheco will spell Todd Helton against Stults, and Wilin Rosario will be behind the plate on the heels of a big night Thursday. Bud Black is running-out the same group as Friday, with the annoying Chris Denorfia leading-off, and Yasmani Grandal, who according to teammate Nick Hundley “had a few good months on steroids” in 2012, hitting 8th.
It’s a partly cloudy and windy day in Denver. Game time temperatures will be in the mid 70°s and the gusts will blow-in from left-center at 12-14 MPH. It’s a regional telecast on FOX Sports (channel 31 in Denver) tonight, providing viewers with respite from the Clown Show, which appeared to tone-down the Fan Friday nonsense in yesterday’s 10-9 victory. Mum’s the word on which of its crews FOX has covering the match-up. Jack and Jerry are over on radio KOA 850 am.
IN GAME CHAT
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