08/21/12 8:02 PM ET
Roenicke thriving in pivotal role out of bullpen
By Adam Rosenbloom / MLB.com
Roenicke got the night off on Monday -- it was his scheduled day in the piggyback role -- to rest his arm. The right-hander has already logged 72 2/3 innings in 2012 -- more than his last three seasons combined and more than some fifth starters around baseball.
"We've backed off of him, but to sit here and tell you that he won't resume some of the responsibility that he and [Adam] Ottavino and Carlos Torres have been doing would be a misnomer," manager Jim Tracy said. "He'll more than likely venture back into that again."
Roenicke, Ottavino and Torres each work every third day to serve as extended relievers for Colorado's four-man rotation. The team made the move in mid-June, and since has held it's four starters to a strict 75-pitch limit.
Roenicke has been great for the Rockies this season, but the heavy workload may have caught up to him of late. Though he still boasts a sub-3.00 ERA on the year, he has given up seven earned runs over his last 3 1/3 innings entering Tuesday -- spread out over three relief appearances. Guillermo Moscoso filled in for Roenicke on Monday and tossed 2 1/3 innings of shutout ball in relief of starter Alex White.
"Once they put Moscoso in the bullpen, I think it was easy for them to put him in the piggyback role, especially since his arm is built up from all of those innings," Roenicke said. "But for now, I'll just pitch one inning at a time, get my arm back on track and refresh it, and we'll go from there."
Tracy reaffirmed that, as it stands, Roenicke will pitch in more of a typical relief role, but he added that Roenicke will likely move back to the piggyback slot in the future.
Young lands on DL with left intercostal strain
NEW YORK -- One day after Eric Young said his rib injury wouldn't send him to the disabled list, Colorado did just that.
Call it the Michael Cuddyer effect.
Young was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with what is officially being diagnosed as a left intercostal muscle strain. Tuesday starter Jhoulys Chacin -- who had been on the disabled list since May with a shoulder injury -- took Young's place on the team's roster.
The move comes just two days after the Rockies put Cuddyer on the disabled list for the second time this month with a strained right oblique. Saturday marked Cuddyer's third game since his return from his first DL stint -- he re-injured the strain on his first swing in the fifth inning. He finished the game, but said he felt severe discomfort in the clubhouse and was put back on the disabled list on Sunday.
"We saw that with Michael Cuddyer. He gets better and better and right back to where he used to be, and within two days he's sore again," manager Jim Tracy said. "They're totally unpredictable. They can feel better and you move on, you think they're better, and then you take a swing and find out very quickly that you're not. That's just the way it works."
Young said he wasn't feeling any worse on Tuesday, but that he had made no significant improvement since Monday afternoon -- he said he still feels pain when he sneezes and coughs.
"Even though it's feeling better, they want to take precautionary measures and make sure I get it fully to 100 percent as opposed to just feeling good," Young said.
Young's now extended absence leaves a big hole atop the Rockies' lineup -- he was hitting .406 in August (26-for-64) with 10 multihit games. But even though that adds extra frustration, Young said the typical lingering nature of oblique injuries made the decision to put him on the DL easy for the coaching staff.
As for whether he fears the possibility of re-injuring himself upon his return?
"I'm not worried about that, we'll just see how I'm feeling once 15 days come," Young said. "But the reason they put me on the DL now is because it's an injury that lingers. We don't want it to maybe even carry over to next year."
Right on the same page as his manager.
"I don't know with Eric Young just like I wouldn't know with anyone else as far as this type of injury is concerned," Tracy said. "The one thing you can say about it is simply that 'uncertainty' is the term you use -- we don't know."
Brothers providing solid lefty relief for Rockies
NEW YORK -- Rex Brothers was available out of the bullpen on Tuesday night for Colorado even after coming in for 1 1/3 innings on Monday against the Mets.
Manager Jim Tracy said that he was thrilled with Brothers' performance on Monday night -- though he walked two, the left-hander gave up just one hit and struck out Kelly Shoppach and Ike Davis, earning his seventh win of the season in the process.
"His delivery last night was much smoother," Tracy said. "He was pitching last night, you could tell by the way he was throwing the ball. He was in that situation where he wasn't reaching for more and more, and as a result, he did a much better job."
Tracy said that Brothers wouldn't be available to come in for extended relief, but would certainly be an option against a left-handed hitter.
Brothers was also brilliant in his previous outing when he struck out three over 1 2/3 innings against Miami without allowing a hit.
The improvement, Tracy said, reminds him of two staples in the Rockies bullpen.
"I personally feel that Rex Brothers is slowly but surely developing a very similar mentality that Matt Belisle and Rafael Betancourt have, which is basically, 'Unless I tell you that I can't pitch, I can pitch,'" Tracy said. "You really, really respect and appreciate that."
Belisle -- an All-Star candidate this season -- had struck out 53 batters over 62 1/3 innings entering Tuesday. Betancourt, meanwhile, has already logged a career-high 24 saves -- accounting for more than half of Colorado's 47 wins.
Carlos Gonzalez is expected to rejoin the Rockies late Tuesday night and will be reinstated from the bereavement list for Wednesday's game against New York.
Troy Tulowitzki is scheduled to see a doctor on Wednesday in Philadelphia and could begin a rehab assignment as soon as this weekend. He underwent surgery on June 21 to remove scar tissue that was built up over a nerve in his left groin area.
Josh Rutledge was available again for Colorado on Tuesday despite lingering tightness in his left quad. Tracy said it was unlikely that he would see action, but could be called upon in an emergency situation.
Adam Rosenbloom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.