DENVER -- Rockies righty Alex White has earned another start.White held the Cardinals scoreless through five inning and gave up two runs in 5 1/3 during the Rockies' 8-2 victory on Thursday night. Although White, who was making his return from a demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs, didn't figure in the decision, he threw well enough to remain in the Rockies' rotation plans. The issue is the Rockies have five starters but are using four in a paired-pitching system. White was up because left-hander Christian Friedrich was pushed back to Sunday. Only unexpected soreness after Friedrich's bullpen session on Friday forced the Rockies not to use him on Sunday. Also in the rotation are lefty Jeff Francis, the team's best pitcher by far since signing with the club in early June, lefty Drew Pomeranz and Friday's starter against the Giants, lefty Jonathan Sanchez. It was a big start for Sanchez, who struggled in two starts since joining the Rockies in a trade with the Royals. "Rest assured of the fact we're going to figure something out -- he's staying, we're not sending him back," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. The Rockies also soon will be re-inserting righty Jhoulys Chacin into the rotation. Chacin has two more scheduled Minor League starts as he rehabs a chest nerve injury. The club could be creative with the starters as the season draws toward an end. Pomeranz is in just his second pro season and the club is keeping an eye on his innings, and the Rockies want Friedrich to get over a pattern of suffering injuries this time of year. There is no hard-and-fast innings limit for either pitcher.
Rutledge in elite company with fast start
DENVER -- Rockies infielder Josh Rutledge is in elite company among Major League rookies.Rutledge, who homered in four straight games going into Friday night against the Giants, had 52 total bases in 18 games since being called up just after the All-Star break. Only the Angels' Mike Trout and the Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes have more among rookies since the break. According the Elias Sports Bureau, Rutledge is the first rookie with at least 50 total bases in his first 18 Major League games since Alvin Davis had 50 for Seattle from April 11-May 1, 1984. Rutledge has joined catcher Wilin Rosario and third baseman Jordan Pacheco to give the Rockies the most rookie RBIs -- 87 -- among National League teams. The Athletics, with 100 RBIs from rookies, lead the Majors.
Chacin feels good, but results lag behind
DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin showed health and velocity Thursday in his second injury rehab start for Double-A Tulsa. Now manager Jim Tracy is hoping to see quality."The health part is very important, but we'd like to see some consistency." Chacin, coming back from nerve damage in his chest, went four innings and gave up five hits and four runs -- all on former Major Leaguer Kevin Kouzmanoff's grand slam -- in a 6-3 loss to Northwest Arkansas at Tulsa. Chacin, who gave up seven hits and five runs in 2 1/3 innings for Class A Modesto in his first rehab start, is scheduled to pitch once more for Tulsa, then make a start for Triple-A Colorado Springs before being activated. Chacin was 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA in five starts for the Rockies before going to the disabled list and being examined repeatedly until the true nature of the problem was discovered. Now the Rockies hope Chacin, considered a front-of-the-rotation talent, can regain health and pitch well to finish the season. "My understanding is, physically, he feels fine today, no ramifications from a health standpoint whatsoever," Tracy said. "He's got a couple more starts to go. Hopefully, we'll see him a little bit better numbers wise.
Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer, slowed by a right oblique strain, did exercises and swung in the batting cage before Friday night's game with the Giants. Tracy said he expected Cuddyer, who last played Tuesday, to be available for pinch-hit duty Friday night and hoped he could start Saturday. Infielder Chris Nelson, on the disabled list since July 17 with an irregular heartbeat, went 3-for-4 with a double for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday in a 7-4 victory over Iowa.
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.