05/20/12 7:40 PM ET
Rockies send down Brothers, call up Ottavino
By Jack Etkin / Special to MLB.com
Ottavino made two hitless and scoreless appearances totaling 2 2/3 innings earlier this month with no walks and four strikeouts during a four-day stay with the Rockies.
Brothers is 2-2 with four blown saves and a 5.87 ERA in 22 games, which was tied for second in the National League in appearances entering Sunday. In 15 1/3 innings, Brothers has allowed 23 hits with 12 walks and 21 strikeouts. He retired the first batter in 13 of his 22 outings.
Manager Jim Tracy said Brothers, 24, has some issues regarding the tempo of his delivery that are affecting his command, particularly of his fastball.
"He's out of sync," Tracy said. "Everything's too fast right now. His body's too fast. His mind's working too fast. He's in a hurry to get things done. He's seeing the result before working the process, and so we need to slow that down and that needs to be done in Triple-A for a period of time so we can get him back.
"I don't think it's a real hard fix, because I don't think he's out of whack that badly mechanically to where this couldn't be a short stay and a fairly quick fix, but we'll see."
Brothers was a supplemental pick after the first round in the 2009 Draft and reached the Majors in June 2011, spending the balance of the season in the Rockies bullpen.
Brothers, a power arm with a fastball at 95-96 mph and a slider at 88-89 mph, began this season in a setup role with right-hander Matt Belisle as the bridge to closer Rafael Betancourt. Because of the high expectations the Rockies have for Brothers, Tracy said, "Having this young man pitch in the fifth or sixth inning of a one-sided game is asinine in my opinion, because of ... what it is you want him to do moving down the road and the importance of the innings that you want him to pitch."
Tuesday at San Francisco, Tracy said he thought Brothers had gotten "over the hurdle." In that game, he walked the bases loaded with one out but struck out Brandon Belt and Melky Cabrera to keep the game tied at 4. The Rockies won 5-4 when Marco Scutaro homered in the ninth.
Tracy said the seven pitches Brothers threw to Belt and Cabrera were "the best pitches I've seen thrown this year" by a starter or reliever, Rockies or opposing pitcher. But in the eighth inning Thursday against the D-backs, Tracy said Brothers "reverted back" to his faults while allowing two hits, two walks and four runs in two-thirds of an inning.
When Tracy spoke with Brothers about his demotion, he asked the reliever when he was having difficult innings whether he was simply trying to escape unscored upon, thinking that would help keep him in the big leagues. Tracy said Brothers admitted that was the case.
"'That's not the state of mind I want you in.'" Tracy said. "'That's the wrong state of mind to have, because when you have an arm like this and stuff like you have ... you're just trying to survive. And you know something, in order for us to be the kind of team we want to be moving forward, you can't just be here surviving. You need to be here dominating.'"
Hernandez resting sore hand on birthday
DENVER -- On a grease board in the Rockies clubhouse, this message was written: "Happy Birthday, Ramon. #49."
"I don't feel old," said catcher Ramon Hernandez, who actually turned 36 on Sunday. When the Rockies conclude the homestand Sunday, they are flying to Miami. And since Hernandez lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that meant he would be able get home to enjoy some of his birthday with his wife their three children and have a late birthday celebration.
"Maybe a little bit," Hernandez said, chuckling. "It's lucky we're going to Florida."
Hernandez has been dealing with tendinitis in his left hand that has affected his ability to grip a bat. He was behind the plate Thursday and caught all 222 pitches thrown by the Rockies in a 9-7 loss to the D-backs that lasted four hours.
Manager Jim Tracy said he saw Hernandez the following day and they agreed to let him rest for a few days. Catcher Wilin Rosario started his third consecutive game Sunday, the first time he has done that this season.
Fowler adjusting to No. 8 spot in lineup
DENVER -- Center fielder Dexter Fowler said he spoke with Chone Figgins of the Mariners, who asked him about hitting eighth in the National League.
Fowler said it was difficult, to which Figgins responded he would rather hit ninth, behind the pitcher and with a leadoff hitter who presumably can run behind him.
"I said, 'You make a good point,'" Fowler said. "It's hard hitting eighth, especially if you haven't done it before. Sometimes you don't get any pitches to hit."
Fowler, who was not in the lineup Sunday, has hit eighth 12 times this season. He's batting .238 with five doubles, three triples, four homers, 18 RBIs and 17 runs scored. And with a team-leading 17 walks, Fowler has an on-base percentage of .344. Fowler also has 28 strikeouts.
Rockies honor cancer survivor as Bat Girl
DENVER -- Before Sunday's game, the Rockies recognized Mabel Miyaski, 87, as their Mother's Day Honorary Bat Girl.
Known as 'G-ma,' Miyaski is a 38-year breast cancer survivor and a fixture at Rockies games, seated behind home plate and typically wearing pink, purple or a combination of the two in support of breast cancer awareness and her favorite team. She wore pink Sunday.
Miyaski attends Spring Training annually and as many games as possible during the regular season and still works at McDonald's four days a week.
Entering Sunday, Wilin Rosario was hitting just .215 (14-for-65) but was leading NL rookies with at least 60 at-bats in homers (6) and slugging percentage (.569). Rosario also had five doubles, meaning all but three of his hits had gone for extra bases. With 21 strikeouts, he was averaging one every 3.1 at-bats.
Michael Cuddyer broke a string of 13 hitless at-bats with a single in the second inning Sunday. It was his first hit on the five-game homestand.
The Rockies are 4-9 in games started by left-handers and will face one Monday when Mark Buehrle starts for the Marlins. Buehrle is the only left-hander scheduled to oppose the Rockies on their six-game trip to Miami and Cincinnati.
Jack Etkin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.