8/14/2013 3:47 P.M. ET
Betancourt may ease back into closer's role
By Ian McCue / MLB.com
DENVER -- Rafael Betancourt may not immediately take over closer duties for the Rockies upon his return, manager Walt Weiss said Wednesday.
Betancourt will make a rehab appearance with Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday after spending nearly a month on the 15-day disabled list because of an emergency appendectomy. He threw a simulated game earlier this week and should be activated this weekend.
But left-hander Rex Brothers has filled in admirably in place of Betancourt, as he did when Betancourt missed most of June with a right groin strain. Brothers has converted his last six save opportunities, creating a tough decision for Weiss.
"We'll see how [Betancourt's] rehab assignment goes and how he's feeling when he shows back up with his," Weiss said. "It's possible that I may ease him back into the closer role; I haven't made up my mind yet on that."
Asked if easing Betancourt in meant using him as a setup man out of the bullpen, Weiss said he was not exactly sure what the alternative plan would be for the right-hander.
"It's hard to say," Weiss said. "Sometimes the game dictates that, too, where I might need him to [be a setup man]. A lot of it has to do with how he feels going out on Thursday."
Brothers excelled as a setup man when Betancourt was healthy, so either way the Rockies should benefit from the return of a solid bullpen arm.
Rox rest Rosario after hamstring injury
DENVER -- Wilin Rosario did not start Wednesday's game against the Padres but was available as a pinch-hitter while nursing a tweaked right hamstring.
Rosario said he injured his hamstring as he rounded third on his way home in the first inning of Tuesday night's 7-5 loss to the Padres. Rosario singled home the Rockies' first two runs in the first before the injury.
While not running the bases at full speed, he finished the game and said the hamstring tightness was only an issue running the bases and not catching. Rosario said Wednesday morning the pain had not increased, but he had yet to test it by running.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said the catcher would have had the day off in place of Yorvit Torrealba even without the injury because Wednesday was a day game immediately following a night game. But Weiss also wanted to give Rosario some extra time to rest before the start of an Interleague series in Baltimore on Friday.
"It would be a lot of heat and ice, I'd imagine," Weiss said of treatment options. "Whirlpool and that type of thing -- there's not a whole lot you can do. Rest is probably the best thing."
Hot-hitting Dickerson developing in outfield
DENVER -- Few have questioned Corey Dickerson's immense offensive talent.
Dickerson's power was never more evident than Tuesday night, when he ripped a two-out, broken-bat triple all the way to the base of the right-field wall in the eighth inning. Before that, he tore up Triple-A Colorado Springs, leading the Pacific Coast League in several offensive categories after hitting .371 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs in 75 games.
But the outfielder's defense has always been a much bigger question mark. Manager Walt Weiss said Dickerson had concentrated on improving in outfield, and the results are showing.
"I think a lot of it's just experience," Weiss said. "He was originally an infielder, so I think just putting the time in out there -- he works at all three spots, so he's probably getting more comfortable with angles and reads and that type of thing.
"[He] has worked on his throwing real hard. He's put a lot of work into it."
Though it does not account for balls he may not get to that stronger defensive outfielders like Dexter Fowler or Carlos Gonzalez might reach, Dickerson has not committed an error in 17 games spread across all three outfield spots.
Dickerson, who hit third for the fourth time in his career Wednesday, has taken off offensively since he returned to the big leagues on July 27. Since that date, he is batting .366 with two home runs, two doubles, a triple, four RBIs and seven runs in just 17 games.
"It's tough for a young player to come up here and play occasionally," Weiss said. "That's what he's doing right now, but he's making the most of his playing time, and it looks like he's figuring out some things with that pinch-hit role."
Rox to keep 13 pitchers through Baltimore series
DENVER -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss plans to take advantage of having a designated hitter in this week's series against the Orioles by keeping 13 pitchers through the weekend.
The Rockies opened the season with 12 pitchers -- five starters and seven relievers -- and have alternated between 12 and 13 arms. With an extra hitter rounding out his order for three games in Baltimore, Weiss said he would not make a move until at least Monday, when the Rockies open a four-game set against the Phillies.
"With the DH, we're less likely to use our bench players, so we'll probably stay with 13 pitchers," Weiss said. "We may make some adjustments with that.
"We'll re-evaluate after the Baltimore series and go from there."
• Weiss has no shortage of options to fill the DH spot this weekend. Michael Cuddyer, Rosario and Todd Helton are the most obvious players to fill that spot, but Weiss said he may also try outfielder Charlie Blackmon or Dickerson in that spot.
• Weiss was surprised by how far Dickerson's broken-bat triple traveled Wednesday night. It was another sign of the lefty's promising potential for the Rockies skipper.
"That's a rarity, Weiss said. "I thought that was a routine popup. So yeah, he's got the chance to be a really productive offensive player."
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.