07/15/12 3:28 PM ET
Rutledge settling into Major League role
By Trey Scott / MLB.com
Hernandez gets the call again at cleanup
DENVER -- When Troy Tulowitzki went down in late May, the Rockies slid Michael Cuddyer -- who had been hitting sixth -- into Tulowitzki's cleanup spot.Cuddyer has a better average in the No. 4 spot than he did in the sixth (.265 to .262), and he's nabbed 22 RBIs. But to keep Cuddyer from dragging, Rockies manager Jim Tracy put Ramon Hernandez in the cleanup spot on Sunday, the second time in three days Hernandez has started there. Cuddyer batted fifth. "My thought process is to take a bit of the onus Michael Cuddyer is shouldering," Tracy said. "Hitting fourth, that's not really what we signed him up to do in the wintertime. And Hernandez has hit there in his career." Hernandez, reinstated from the disabled list on July 13 after missing 42 games with a left hand strain, had a career .500 average against Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels (3-for-6), with one home run, entering Sunday's game. "He has some history with Hamels," Tracy said. "The bottom line is regardless of where I hit Ramon and Michael, when you're hitting in the middle of the order, the game is going to find you in run-producing situations. But to take a bit of the burden off [Cuddyer] makes sense."
Right-handed starter Jhoulys Chacin, on the disabled list since May 2, will throw a simulated two-inning game on Tuesday. With 15 pitches per inning, combined with a bullpen session beforehand, the Rockies expect Chacin to throw 65 pitches. Wilin Rosario, who did not start on Sunday, leads all Major League rookies with 15 home runs. Rosario also leads National League catchers in that category. Only Todd Helton and Troy Tulowizki have hit more as Rockies rookies. "If he keeps this up, you'd expect him to be in the running for Rookie of the Year," Tracy said.
Trey Scott is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.