Rox recall Chacin, place Buccholz on DL
Right-handed reliever nursing stiffness in lower back
LOS ANGELES -- With Jhoulys Chacin recalled from Triple-A to start Tuesday night's game in Los Angeles, Colorado put right-handed reliever Taylor Buchholz on the 15-day DL due to lower back stiffness.
"It's something he's been dealing with over the last couple of days," manager Jim Tracy said.
The big concern for the Rockies was not to do anything that would impact Buchholz's continued recovery from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent after the 2008 season.
"The program he is on is pushing on," Tracy said, referring to the exercise program that is part of his recovery. "When you are talking about a ligament transplant, that combination with lower back stiffness for me doesn't work."
Buchholz, while disappointed, understands the club's concern.
"They don't want me to put any extra stress on my arm by overcompensating for the back," he said.
The lower back problem is something Buchholz says he's had for a while.
"I've had some problems with the back spasming up before and I just have to fight through it," he said. "They didn't want to hold off for a couple of days, and then it cripples the bullpen. It's just bad timing."
The plan now calls for Buchholz to take the day off and then see how he feels Wednesday to see when he'll begin to work out again. Once they can get Buchholz's back to where it needs to be, he'll get some throwing in and eventually some Minor League games.
"Knowing that we have a couple of weeks period here," Tracy said, "and have him part of the scenario here in September when rosters expand."
"We'll see how it feels tomorrow," Buchholz said. "It's just bad timing."
Adjustments help Helton since return from DL
LOS ANGELES -- In the two weeks since Rockies first baseman Todd Helton returned from the disabled list, he has hit .300 with two home runs and five RBIs. That compares to the .246, two home runs and 16 RBIs he compiled during the first three months of the season.
"I made some adjustments," Helton said, "Whether it will stick or not, I have no idea, but I feel better."
"He's a very prideful guy," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
"He was trying to push through something that obviously wasn't going to let him succeed the way he wants to and that was due to the fatigue in his lower back."
Tracy says that the club tried a lot of things to try to keep Helton in the lineup and let him be productive.
"We played him, we rested him, we moved him around the lineup and tried and endless number of things," Tracy said.
While Tracy is glad to see Helton back and producing, he made a point that he's going to be very careful with how he uses Helton from this point on.
"Since he's come back, we have not tried to push that envelope too far," Tracy said. "And I don't know how far I will push that, because I'm not too keen on the negative effect it might have."
For now the plan is to play Helton a couple of days and then give him a day off. Tracy also wants to use the schedule to help, such as last weekend, when they gave Helton Sunday off, knowing that Monday was a scheduled off-day.
"He had two days off and only missed one game," Tracy said.
Helton himself admitting that feeling 100% is never going to be an option.
"It's something I'll always have to deal with," he said. "I feel much better, like I have a chance to do some damage at the plate. I'm driving the ball a little better and hopefully I'll keep it going."
Tracy is cautiously optimistic, saying that what he's seen so far is very encouraging and important to the club.
"What we've seen so far is very reminiscent of what we saw an awful lot of in 2009," he said.
For Tracy, that's all that he needs from Helton for the Rockies to be successful.
"That's all we're looking for, some measure of consistency that resembles that," he said.
"That's why we are trying to put fast guys on in front of him, so that he will have the opportunity to put a ball in play and drive in runs."
The Rockies are 15-9 against the two clubs they are chasing, the Padres and the Giants, but are 7-8 against the teams that are chasing them, the Dodgers and the D-backs. ... In the first 13 games of August, when Colorado needs to make a push, they have alternated wins and loses going 7-6. The Rockies have not won or lost consecutive games since Aug. 1.
Glenn Rabney is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.