09/30/12 8:53 PM ET
Prospect Ortega makes surprising arrival with Rox
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
The announcement of Ortega's first at-bat was greeted by silence from the Dodger Stadium crowd. But against Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett, Ortega beat out a grounder to the right side of the infield for his first hit, stole second but didn't advance farther. He added a bunt single in the fifth and was hit in the right leg by a pitch in the ninth inning, but stayed in the game, a 7-1 Rockies loss.Before the game, Ortega was trying to overcome the shock of receiving the phone call Saturday night from player development director Jeff Bridich and the added surprise of seeing his name in the lineup. Ortega quickly called as many family members and friends in Venezuela as he could reach. Rockies infielder Jonathan Herrera, a fellow Venezuelan, called those Ortega didn't have time to reach. "I'm happy now, and I'm going to go out and play," Ortega said with a chuckle. Herrera has played against Ortega in Venezuelan Winter League games the last few years. "He can play and he can run," Herrera said. "He was the right fielder for the other team. I recognized him, 'That was a kid who was with Colorado in Spring Training.' His experience was like mine, when I got called up in San Francisco [in 2008]." Tracy said the Rockies went with Ortega partly because he was still playing. Many players higher in the Minor League system are already into their offseasons, and asking them to jump into big league games could put them at a risk. Ortega ended up starting because of the domino effect of needing to rest catcher Wilin Rosario. Jordan Pacheco moved from first base to catcher, Matt McBride moved from the outfield to first base and Ortega had his spot in center. Ortega also impressed the Rockies enough that they were going to add him to their 40-man roster this winter so he wouldn't be exposed to other clubs in the Rule 5 Draft. "Charlie Blackmon is involved in the outfield picture in left field, Andrew Brown in right, and we're hoping to close those gaps down in the outfield in relation to what I've heard about this kid's [Ortega's] defensive capabilities," Tracy said. Ortega was needed because Herrera was the only healthy reserve. Tyler Colvin experienced swelling in his left elbow before the game, and Dexter Fowler (right wrist) and Jason Giambi (right groin) were active but not healthy enough to play.
Groin injury likely ends Giambi's frustrating season
LOS ANGELES -- Rockies veteran first baseman and pinch-hitter Jason Giambi's frustrating season has likely come to an end with a hernia injury in the right groin area.Giambi, 41, had missed 35 games, from July 24 to Sept. 1, because of a viral syndrome. Giambi said he will visit a doctor in Arizona, where the Rockies will be for their season-ending series starting Monday. It's doubtful the Rockies, who added Giambi to the roster for their 2009 playoff run, will pursue Giambi this offseason, but he does not want to retire.
Outfielder/first baseman Tyler Colvin reported feeling better Sunday, after sudden swelling in his left elbow forced the Rockies to scratch him from the lineup on Saturday. Colvin had Tommy John surgery on the elbow while in the Minors in 2008 and has occasional swelling flare-ups. Colvin and infielder Jonathan Herrera were the Rockies' only healthy reserves on Sunday.
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.