05/25/12 7:55 PM ET
Hitting not to blame for Rockies' recent slide
By Tony Meale / Special to MLB.com
"We scored 18 runs in three games against Miami," Tracy said. "A lot of things get said about what we don't get done offensively on the road. Well, we scored plenty of runs. It's about our starting pitching and their ability to compete and keep us in games."
The Rockies allowed at least seven runs four times during the six-game slide, and their 5.12 team ERA was ranked last in the National League and second-to-last in the Majors, heading into Friday. Only Minnesota (5.38) was allowing earned runs at a higher clip, and the Rockies and Twins were the only teams in baseball sporting a team ERA higher than 4.64. The Rockies were also the only team in baseball without a shutout.
"What we got on Wednesday night was a very competitive effort from Alex White [four runs on eight hits in six innings]," Tracy said. "The other thing we got was a couple of shut-down innings after [Troy Tulowitzki's three-run homer in the fifth inning]. If we're able to pitch and do some things offensively that I think we're capable of doing, there's a very positive outlook that a lot of things could get turned around."
Rockies place Hernandez on DL, add Nieves
CINCINNATI -- Colorado catcher Ramon Hernandez on Friday was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left hand.
Hernandez -- who has been dealing with tendinitis in his left hand, a condition that has affected his ability to grip a bat -- was hitting .215, with four homers and 15 RBIs in 27 games this season.
"Rather than keep going back and forth like we have been doing, we'll just take the opportunity to give him time and see how [the healing process] goes," manager Jim Tracy said.
Wil Nieves replaced Hernandez on the active roster after the Rockies selected his contract from Triple-A Colorado Springs.
"Wil prides himself a lot on the defensive end, and he's very good at it," Tracy said. "He has a lot of energy and a good feel for game calling. I'm anxious to see how that plays out with some of our young starters."
Nieves, who will wear No. 41, began the season with Colorado Springs and has hit .299 with four doubles, three homers, 14 RBIs and 14 runs scored in 28 games at Triple-A. This will be the 34-year-old's fifth Major League team since 2002, as he previously played with the Padres, Yankees, Nationals and Brewers.
Nieves is a career .221 hitter with 32 doubles, two triples, five homers and 73 RBIs in 282 Major League games.
The Rockies also transferred infielder Hector Gomez (groin strain) from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL; their 40-man roster remains full.
Chacin's injury pectoral, not in elbow, shoulder
CINCINNATI -- Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who was initially placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, was officially diagnosed with a right pectoral injury after the Rockies got a second medical opinion. He is reported to have no structural damage in his shoulder or elbow.
Colorado manager Jim Tracy said the diagnosis was made by a doctor in St. Louis and that Chacin will not throw for the next few weeks.
"I think we've discovered what had some people saying, 'Well, he's dropped a couple miles per hour [in velocity],'" Tracy said. "What I'm encouraged by is that we don't have any issues structurally.
"We'll give this some time and see how it goes. I think with exercising, strengthening, things like that, we're going to be able to figure this out."
Tracy's return to Cincinnati a business trip
CINCINNATI -- Colorado manager Jim Tracy is back in his hometown this weekend, but don't expect a case of the warm and fuzzies.
"The only tangible feeling I have right now is to see this ballclub play a hell of a lot more often like it did on Wednesday [an 8-4 win at Miami]," said Tracy, who is from Hamilton, Ohio, which is a half hour or so from Cincinnati. "That's the tangible for me. I would like to see some young starters put together a series of good starts where one guy follows the next guy and gives us six, six-plus competitive innings.
"That's what I'd like to see. If it happens in Cincinnati, great."
Outfielder Michael Cuddyer was scratched from Friday's lineup with a stiff neck. Eric Young (CF) hit leadoff, followed by Marco Scutaro (2B), Carlos Gonzalez (LF), Troy Tulowitzki (SS), Todd Helton (1B), Tyler Colvin (RF), Jordan Pacheco (3B), Wilin Rosario (C) and Christian Friedrich (P).
Rockies outfield prospect Charlie Blackmon, who missed out on his chance to make the club in Spring Training because of a hyperextended right big toe and hasn't played at Triple-A Colorado Springs since May 1 because of a recurrence of the injury, took batting practice on the field Thursday for the first time since going to the Triple-A disabled list. Rockies third baseman Chris Nelson was 5-for-12 with a double and two RBIs through Thursday, after four games of a rehab assignment at Colorado Springs for a left wrist injury. Colorado Springs began a series in Fresno on Friday.
Tony Meale is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.