PHILADELPHIA -- Right-hander Josh Roenicke has held up well through 81 innings -- most for a reliever in the Majors going into Friday -- but Rockies manager Jim Tracy has decided to slow down the pace of Roenicke's workload.
Roenicke (4-1, 2.67 ERA in 53 appearances) has spent much of the year in what the Rockies call the hybrid role -- he is available for up to 50 pitches a game and works out of the bullpen, but is on a schedule like a starter. But Tracy has moved Roenicke to a situational role. Recently recalled righty Guillermo Moscoso will move into the hybrid role.
"He's held up very well and rebounded nicely here recently," Tracy said. "Josh has 81 innings pitched and that's out there a ways from the most innings he's logged in his career [2010, 78 total between Triple-A Las Vegas and Toronto]. He pitched two brilliant innings the other day in Atlanta.
"To continue to keep Josh in play, we'll limit the innings a little bit and get more of a look-see from Guillermo Moscoso. I've had conversation with both guys."
The consistency of Roenicke, 30, in his first wire-to-wire Major League season, has been a key reason the Rockies have had some good results from their pitching plan, under which the starter is limited to around 75 pitches, or usually two times through the order.
He had just one multi-game slump. He gave up seven of the 24 earned runs charged to him this season in three games in August.
"My arm has bounced back real well this season," Roenicke said. "I had a little spurt of fatigue two weeks ago, but that went away. I took one piggy-back time off, then I got back on track. I've never had any arm problems, and my arm has been good this year. It's nice to bounce back three days later and throw without any pain."
Rutledge to get work at second when Tulo returns
PHILADELPHIA -- After making his first career start at second base, which could be his future position, Rockies rookie Josh Rutledge was back at shortstop for Friday night's opener of a three-game set against the Phillies. DJ LeMahieu started at second.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy plans to have Rutledge play some second base to see how he meshes with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, once Tulowitzki completes a Minor League rehab assignment as he returns from left groin surgery. Tulowitzki is helping Double-A Tulsa in the Texas League playoffs.
But Tracy said he doesn't want to put Rutledge in a compromised position before Tulowitzki arrives.
"I want to see Josh at second, but I don't want to feel like I'm compromising two players defensively in putting DJ at short and having Josh at second," Tracy said. "You'd maybe unfairly run the risk of some type of bad feed or something like that, and getting somebody seriously hurt and jeopardize their 2013 season. I'd feel awfully bad.
"We're going to give Josh Rutledge work at second base, but we're going to do it in a scenario with Jonathan Herrera and/or Troy Tulowitzki."
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.