GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Rookie left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz, named the fifth starter in the rotation, showed Saturday that he'll be ready whenever the Rockies need him.The Rockies will not need him until April 15 against the D-backs at Coors Field. If he pitches the way he did Saturday -- when he held the White Sox scoreless for six innings on four hits in the Rockies' 3-1 victory -- he'll be worth the wait. It was a mechanically-sound outing for Pomeranz, who struggled with consistency in his previous outing, against the Angels. Pomeranz had not pitched in a Cactus League game for 13 days because of a right glute strain, and when he took the mound, he was spinning too far away from home plate during his windup. Some quick pointers from his bullpen catcher before Saturday's game corrected the problem. He dominated Saturday -- using all his pitches, including a curve that buckled the knees of White Sox leadoff hitter Alejandro De Aza -- despite the fact the injury has not fully healed.
Healthy Helton heating up down the stretch
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies first baseman Todd Helton hopes he is heating up at the right time. With two hits during Friday night's 5-3 loss to the Rangers, Helton has hit .444 (12-for-27) with six RBIs in the last 10 games.Helton, 38, has battled back problems in recent years, but he is heading into 2012 with no debilitating health issues. Helton even made a leaping stab of an Elvis Andrus line drive in Friday's game. "I've got my timing down, I think, but I'm still working on things," said Helton, who did not make the trip to Glendale for Saturday's 3-1 victory against the White Sox. "I'm hitting the ball fairly well. I feel healthy. I've got that going for me."
Bullpen questions remain unanswered
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies left-handed pitcher Matt Reynolds, trying to hang onto a bullpen spot, served up a home run to White Sox left-handed hitter Adam Dunn after entering in the ninth inning with a three-run lead.Reynolds struck out two in the inning and finished the 3-1 victory with a save. But he has given up four earned runs in 8 1/3 innings. Manager Jim Tracy has announced that primary lefty setup man Rex Brothers and multi-innings lefty Josh Outman have made the season-opening squad. Reynolds, 27, who came up in 2010 and spent all of last season with the Rockies, is battling for a spot in the final days of camp. Tracy said last year he might have overused Reynolds, who finished the year having yielded a .292 batting average to left-handed hitters. "Obviously, if he's going to be on the club, that's an important aspect," Tracy said. "Today is Saturday and we're still playing games from now until next Wednesday. We'll keep an eye on it and we'll keep going forward. We'll get there eventually." Reynolds' struggles add to the questions the Rockies must answer by the end of camp. By planning not to activate left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz until he is needed on April 15, Tracy can afford to carry the two players competing for the final bench job -- Eric Young Jr., who is out of Minor League options, and Jonathan Herrera, who unlike Young can be sent down without being exposed to other clubs via waivers. But Tracy also entertained the idea of filling that spot with an eighth reliever. Closer Rafael Betancourt, righty setup man Matt Belisle, Brothers and Outman have secured spots. Right-handers Josh Roenicke, who has had a standout camp, and Esmil Rogers are out of Minor League options, so the Rockies risk losing them if they don't keep them. One righty who can force his way into the picture is Alex White, who had been a starter and is being converted with hopes of using his two-seam and four-seam fastballs with his slider -- if he can become consistent with the slider. "He's another guy we're still doing some evaluating and some fitting and asking ourselves the question," Tracy said. "Having the ball in the strike zone is very important, and in the strike zone with some movement. He's the type of guy with the ground-ball capability in a first-and-third situation. These are all things you're asking yourself questions about after each and every game you play." Edgmer Escalona, who has options, also is a possibility.
Tracy wants to quell Jimenez dialogue
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Throughout the spring, hard feelings from the trade that sent pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez from the Rockies to the Indians have bubbled to the surface. But Rockies manager Jim Tracy wants to push those into the background.In various interviews, Jimenez, who will start for the Indians against the Rockies on Sunday, has discussed being upset that the Rockies didn't extend his contract but did reach lucrative agreements with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. Jimenez also smarted at being sent out to pitch a game against the Padres when it was clear that the trade was going to happen within moments. In response, Tulowitzki and Gonzalez fired back that they were hurt Jimenez seemed to want to be traded as the Rockies struggled last season. In recent weeks, the Rockies have stopped discussing the situation. Tracy had no interest in discussing the saga Saturday. "Go back to 2007, go back to 2009 and go back to the first half of 2010, there were some special days out there on the field with him on the mound," Tracy said. "I just really wish that all the other stuff. ... Let's get that put to bed, because it's not doing anybody any good. It was over and done with at the end of July last year. Everybody needs to move on."
Betancourt bears down in trouble spot
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies outfielder Tyler Colvin's ill-advised diving attempt at a line drive from Chicago's Paul Konerko resulted in a seventh-inning triple that put reliever Rafael Betancourt in a difficult spot.But Betancourt, the Rockies' closer and a notorious slow starter in recent seasons, forced an Alex Rios popup and struck out Tyler Flowers and Kosuke Fukudome to escape the inning. "For him to work out of a runner at third, no-outs situation in a one-run game, what a boost," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "The sequence of pitches for the next three hitters was also intriguing. Great life, excellent command of both sides of the plate with both the fastball and the breaking ball."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.