5/22/2013 1:05 A.M. ET
Despite his slump, Weiss confident in Rutledge
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
DENVER -- Rockies second baseman Josh Rutledge believes he can see success at the end of his struggles.
Manager Walt Weiss started DJ LeMahieu on Tuesday night against the D-backs, instead of Rutledge, who went into Tuesday 2-for-16 during the current homestand.
"I've been feeling good at the plate, my swing feels good," Rutledge said. "I've hit a few balls hard. It's just how it goes. I'll just go on to the next at-bat. I've done a lot of work in the cage and gotten the feeling my swing is getting there. Just trust the work you put in."
The slump has dropped Rutledge's batting average to .242. Weiss also said it's good to be able to go to LeMahieu, who put up strong numbers in Triple-A Colorado Springs and entered Tuesday 3-for-9 since his call-up.
"That's the beauty of having some talented players on the bench," Weiss said. "'Rut's a great talent. He's grinding through some things right now. It gives us an opportunity to let him catch his breath."
Rutledge was called up from Double-A Tulsa to play shortstop last season after Troy Tulowitzki was injured. In addition to being in the Majors for the first time, he is learning a new position.
"Josh has done a great job learning virtually a new position at the Major League level," Weiss said. "The angles are different and the growth is ongoing with Josh. But he's a very athletic kid. He's done a tremendous job with that position. It's not that easy."
Asked if Rutledge needed to be away from the spotlight, such as in Colorado Springs, Weiss said Rutledge's athletic ability can keep him in the Majors and pull him past these difficult days.
"Josh is really an athletic kid," Weiss said. "He's been a very good offensive player in a short time up here last year, and in the Minor Leagues. There's a track record of being a very dynamic offensive player. He's a kid that's a nice piece in our offense. He's grinding through some things and the second year is always tougher, but I like 'Rut' a lot as a player."
Rutledge said, "It's great to know that you have their confidence in you, but as long as you have confidence in yourself, you're good."
Betancourt to undergo MRI with groin injury
DENVER -- Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt has been pitching and succeeding through right groin tightness since late April. But after two uncharacteristically uncompetitive pitches to the D-backs' Paul Goldschmidt in the top of the 10th inning Tuesday night, he knew the pain had caught up to him.
After being given a few pitches to test how he felt, Betancourt left the game, and Wilton Lopez entered and retired three batters. The Rockies won it on Wilin Rosario's single in the bottom of the 10th.
Betancourt, 10-for-10 on save chances and carrying a 1.56 ERA in 19 appearances, said he will undergo an MRI on Wednesday. He hopes that not pitching Wednesday and the team's off-day on Thursday will give him time to heal so he can avoid the 15-day disabled list. He is currently listed as day-to-day with the injury.
"It's not painful," Betancourt said. "It was feeling weird warming up. I always push a lot from that leg. I came into the game, bounced the first two pitches. Feel like weak. It was getting tight. That's all.
"I'm the kind of guy that it's hard for me to come out of the game. But I think it was the right move to do in that situation. Tomorrow, I get an MRI, but I think everything's going to be fine, and we'll go from there."
Lopez was given all the time he needed to warm up, but he didn't take long and dispatched of the D-backs' Goldschmidt on a grounder and Eric Chavez and Cody Ross on fly balls. The Ross fly ball was deep, but nowhere deep enough to cause a sweat. Lopez was done in four pitches.
Lopez threw 22 pitches in the 5-1 loss to the D-backs Monday night.
"I felt good, so coming in like that didn't bother me," Lopez said.
When the Rockies acquired Lopez in a trade from the Astros in December, they wanted him and left-hander Rex Brothers to be options when Betancourt isn't available. Both are pitching well. Brothers' scoreless ninth Tuesday was his 18th straight scoreless outing covering 17 innings. Lopez has pitched scoreless ball in 13 of his last 14 appearances.
Weiss goes with Pacheco at first, gives Helton rest
DENVER -- Right-handed-hitting Jordan Pacheco, who had one of the three hits and the lone RBI the Rockies managed against lefty Patrick Corbin in Monday night's 5-1 loss to the D-backs, started against righty Ian Kennedy on Tuesday.
Pacheco went into Tuesday 4-for-9 with a double, a home run and seven RBIs in his previous three games.
"Tomorrow, with [D-backs righty Trevor] Cahill, a heavy-sinker guy who's tough on right-handed hitters, I got 'Check' in there tonight," said Weiss, who plans to go with first baseman Todd Helton on Wednesday afternoon.
The Rockies usually don't start Helton in day games after night games, but since he's got Tuesday night off, he'll be able to make the start.
Pacheco entered Tuesday hitting .318 in 28 games, while Helton was hitting .231 in 26 games. Part of Pacheco's playing time came when Helton was hurt. With Helton healthy, Weiss must make sure Pacheco gets in ample work.
Weiss said it helps that Helton needs the down time and doesn't fight it.
"Todd's been great," Weiss said. "He understands that. He understood it coming into the season. He's still getting a lot of playing time, but he knows he needs a day here and there. That's what we try to do. 'Check' is a nice piece to have to insert into the lineup, and you can insert him in a number of different spots."
Astacio, Monfort to rep Rockies at Draft
DENVER -- Pedro Astacio, one of the most accomplished pitchers in Rockies history and now a part-time pitching instructor and advisor, will represent the Rockies at the MLB First-Year Player Draft on June 6 at the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, N.J.
Astacio, who went 53-48 and set a Rockies record with 14 complete games for the club from 1997-2001, served as an instructor this year during part of the team's first Spring Training under manager Walt Weiss, a teammate of Astacio in Colorado. Astacio also worked with pitchers during the Rockies' last road trip.
Also representing the Rockies will be Walker Monfort, the team's coordinator of Minor League operations. The two will help the league welcome its next crop of prospects.
The Rockies will have the third overall pick.
The 2013 First-Year Player Draft will take place on June 6-8, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 6, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 73 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. Rounds 3-10 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 7, beginning with a preview show at 12:30 p.m., and Rounds 11-40 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 8, starting at 1 p.m.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Virtually every team will have an iconic former player tabbed as a representative. Major League Baseball expects to have three Hall of Famers, 25 All-Stars, four Most Valuable Players and a trio of World Series-winning managers representing the clubs that made them famous at the Draft.
The Hall of Famers are third baseman George Brett of the Royals, ex-Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda and former Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), formerly a pitcher with the Phillies.
• Rockies outfielder-first baseman Michael Cuddyer, expected to rejoin the team Friday when he is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list (bulging disc in his neck), played in an extended spring training game Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz. Cuddyer had five at-bats and was reported to be have come through without pain, Weiss said.
• Outfielder Charlie Blackmon took a .267 batting average into his start Tuesday night. Manager Walt Weiss used Blackmon in the No. 2 slot in the batting order, after hitting him eighth in four previous starts.
"Charlie runs well," Weiss said. "He's a guy you can hit-and-run with. He's a guy that can hit that hole at first base with a man on first. He can go first-to-third. He hits the ball in the gap. He's a nice offensive player. There have been a couple other times I thought about hitting him in the two-hole. Today, I actually put it on paper."
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.