4/21/2013 1:15 A.M. ET
Outman adds lefty help to bullpen
By Jack Etkin / Special to MLB.com
DENVER -- Reliever Josh Outman joined the Rockies two hours before Friday's game, flying to Denver from Reno, where Triple-A Colorado Springs was playing. Outman, who gives the Rockies a second left-hander in the bullpen to go with Rex Brothers, went 1-0 with a 0.84 ERA (10 2/3 innings, one earned run) in five games with four walks and 14 strikeouts.
To make room for Outman, the Rockies optioned reliever Chris Volstad to Colorado Springs.
"I tried to carry over into the season what I was doing at the tail end of Spring Training," Outman said. "The last four or five outings of Spring Training, I really felt like I was commanding the bottom of the zone. I was getting all three of my pitches over for strikes and had really worked on using the sinker more, especially with the kind of ground-ball rates they're looking for here.
"It's made it a lot easier for me to pitch, especially at altitude. Just keep the ball on the ground and keep guys off balance. The more I've been able to sink the ball away from right-handers, the more it's opened up the inner half of the plate."
Chacin's injury not an oblique issue
DENVER -- Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin will not make his next scheduled start, but said Saturday he felt "way better than yesterday" and believed the injury that forced him to leave Friday's start was not to his left oblique.
Chacin was examined Saturday by Dr. Tom Noonan, the Rockies' medical director, who gave Chacin the good news and confirmed that he does not have an oblique issue. Chacin's pain is related to his back, but he will still have an MRI taken on Monday to determine a more specific diagnosis.
Chacin pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the D-backs on Friday and left the game after throwing his 100th pitch. The Rockies' Opening Day starter, Chacin is 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA in four starts.
Chacin suffered spasms in his lower back during Spring Training while doing squats and said he felt pain in the "same area" Friday. Chacin was encouraged by how how he felt Saturday.
"I was able to do some exercise, and if it was an oblique, I couldn't do it," Chacin said. "I feel quite better today."
Chacin's next scheduled start is Wednesday against the Braves at Coors Field. The Rockies don't have a scheduled off-day until May 2, so a pitcher from Triple-A Colorado Springs will need to be called up to face the Braves.
Left-hander Drew Pomeranz pitched for Colorado Springs on Thursday and could start in Chacin's place. But the Rockies may be reluctant to disrupt the routines and development process of Pomeranz and Tyler Chatwood, who has been Colorado Springs' best starter recently, by calling them up to pitch once or twice in Chacin's absence.
"Of course, I've thought about that scenario," Weiss said, referring to filling Chacin's spot. "I don't exactly know who that would be, at this point. There's a few different candidates down there. So, we'll cross that bridge, I guess, when we get to it."
The weather forecast calls for rain on Monday afternoon, turning to snow at night with some rain and snow on Tuesday. If a game with the Braves is postponed, the Rockies could push their starters back and not have to fill Chacin's slot.
Helton out of lineup with forearm strain
DENVER -- First baseman Todd Helton has a left forearm strain and was not in Saturday's starting lineup. He suffered the injury on a swing Tuesday against the Mets in the first game of a doubleheader.
Helton said he thought the pain would "just go away with a couple days rest," but that wasn't the case.
"It's feeling pretty good right now," Helton said before Saturday's game. "I've never done anything like it. I could play right now if I had to, I guess."
Trammell admires Tulo from afar
DENVER -- D-backs bench coach Alan Trammell is a former shortstop who hit third later in his career with the Tigers and won four Gold Glove Awards. He is an ardent admirer of Rockies shortstop and cleanup hitter Troy Tulowitzki, whom he watches from a perspective different than most, and compares his skill set to that of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.
"Cal might have been a tad bigger, but they're big boys," Trammell said. "They both hit in the middle of the lineup, but they understand the game, being a shortstop. They know when to get guys over and they'll do that. They're not just up there swinging, they're going to play the game [correctly]. Tulo's more athletic. The off-balance throws, Cal didn't do that. But Cal's hands were as good as I've ever seen. He didn't make any mistakes -- when he caught the ball, you were out."
• The last team to win more than seven straight home games to start their season was the Dodgers in 2009, when they won their first 13 home games. The Rockies were 7-0 at home entering Saturday.
• Reid Brignac started at third base on Saturday. It was his fifth start of the season and third at third base.
• Chacin's 1.46 ERA is the third-lowest in franchise history for a pitcher in his first four starts of the season. Ubaldo Jimenez had a 0.95 ERA in 2010 and Shawn Chacon had a 0.98 ERA in 2003 after four starts, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Jack Etkin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.