8/27/2013 9:19 P.M. ET
Parker among eight Rox prospects headed to AFL
By Ian McCue / MLB.com
DENVER -- Eight Rockies prospects will suit up for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, the club announced Tuesday.
Four pitchers, two infielders, an outfielder and a catcher will represent the Rockies for a team that also includes players from the D-backs, Cardinals, Rays and Blue Jays.
Two starting pitchers from Double-A Tulsa will join the Rafters in left-hander Tyler Matzek, rated the Rockies' No. 14 prospect by MLB.com, and righty Dan Houston. Matzek, a first-round selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft completing his first year at the Double-A level, is 8-9 with a 3.60 ERA in 25 starts. Houston is 4-6 with a 3.36 ERA with Tulsa, spending time as a starter and reliever.
The Rockies' two other pitchers will jump from High A Modesto to the Arizona Fall League. Lefty Tyler Anderson, a first-round pick in the 2011 draft and ranked No. 5 in Colorado system, is 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA after spending the early part of the year with Low A Tri-City.
Left-handed reliever Kraig Sitton, 25, has a 2.94 ERA in 49 games, an improvement from his 3.08 ERA in 2012, his first year with Modesto.
Perhaps the biggest name among the position players is Tulsa's Kyle Parker, the Rockies' No. 9 prospect. Parker, a first-round choice in 2010 chosen as an outfielder, has been spending more time at first base this season and posted impressive offensive numbers.
In 117 games, Parker has hit .283 with 23 home runs, 71 RBIs and 21 doubles in his first year at the Double-A level.
Tim Wheeler, the team's No. 10 prospect, will be Colorado's lone representative in the Rafters outfield, the 25-year-old finishing his second season with Triple-A Colorado Springs. Wheeler has hit .262 with four homers, 40 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 2013, two years after he exploded onto the scene when he hit 33 homers with Double-A Tulsa.
Shortstop Cristhian Adames, rated No. 16, will be Colorado's youngest representative in the Arizona Fall League.
Adames, a 22-year-old Dominican product, has hit .269 and driven in 35 runs with 18 doubles and three homers with Double-A Tulsa. Those numbers aren't far behind what he posted the previous year with High A Modesto, a positive sign that his talent can eventually carry over to the big leagues.
Tulsa catcher Dustin Garneau rounds out the organization's players in the Arizona Fall League. Garneau has shown some power at Double-A, knocking 12 homers and driving home 43 runs while hitting .232 and slugging .411.
Oswalt eager to return after simulated game
DENVER -- Many would look at 35-year-old Roy Oswalt's aging body and, with less than a month left in the season, say he should start planning for next year.
But after throwing his second simulated game at Coors Field on Tuesday as he rehabs a strained left hamstring, Oswalt is much more optimistic.
"I'm trying to get back and pitch this year and go from there," Oswalt said. "I'm hoping to come back and start at least four, maybe five games."
Oswalt made only four starts before the injury knocked him out, but he had no trouble making it through four innings facing live batters and throwing close to 60 pitches. He hopes to make a Minor League rehab start this weekend, and it would have to come soon as Triple-A Colorado Springs closes its season Monday.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss conceded squeezing in four or five starts would be the best-case scenario, but he saw an uptick in Oswalt's velocity and a pitcher nearing a rehab start.
"That would be the fast track, but yeah, we'll try to get him out there," Weiss said. "Today was a good sign, so if he can go out on a rehab assignment, he's ready to do that, we'll get him back out there."
Oswalt said there was noticeable progress from his first simulated game Thursday and he did not feel any lingering hamstring pain.
"Probably two weeks ago it wasn't quite ready and it's getting better, a lot better," Oswalt said. "I can actually get out on my front leg and put all my weight out there instead of holding back."
If he doesn't get the rehab start, Oswalt plans to throw another simulated game this weekend.
Fowler remains sidelined with bruised knee
DENVER -- Dexter Fowler was out of the Rockies' starting lineup for Game 2 against the Giants on Tuesday as he nurses a bruised left knee.
Fowler injured his knee when he tried to steal second in the first inning of Monday's 6-1 win and left at the end of that inning. Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Tuesday that Fowler's knee was sore and he remains day to day.
"I think [when] he slid into the base, he kind of jammed it a little bit," Weiss said.
"I didn't see anything when it happened, but his knee kind of stuck in the ground. I think he just landed the wrong way."
Corey Dickerson batted leadoff and played center field in place of Fowler, who started 20 consecutive games before this injury.
After going on a tear in early August, Dickerson entered Tuesday with just one hit in his last 14 at-bats, a single that eventually turned into Colorado's sixth run in Monday's victory.
Rockies skipper not counting out Betancourt
DENVER -- The news fell with a resounding thud in the Rockies clubhouse. Veteran closer Rafael Betancourt had a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, an injury that ended his season and potentially his career.
It wasn't so much concern that the Rockies lack an arm to fill his void, but rather that one of the most respected men in the clubhouse had such heartbreaking news.
"It's tough. He's such a leader on our club, such a great pro," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "You hate to get that type of news for any player, but especially for a guy that's been one of our emotional leaders."
Betancourt said Monday night he plans to try platelet-rich plasma therapy, where blood is removed from the body and enriched to accelerate the healing process in a final attempt at a comeback next year. Betancourt, 38, will not opt for the reconstructive surgery usually required to repair such an injury.
Though the chances are slim the treatment will work, Weiss refuses to doubt Betancourt.
"I told him last night I never doubt him; he's very focused on rehabbing and trying to avoid the surgery and come back and pitch," Weiss said. "If it's possible, he'll do it."
Rex Brothers, already pegged as the closer of the future, will assume closer duties in place of Betancourt. Brothers has 13 saves in 14 chances this year and has been stellar as the late-inning setup man with a team-low 1.46 ERA.
Torrealba returns after recovering from concussion
DENVER -- The Rockies activated catcher Yorvit Torrealba from the seven-day disabled list just before the start of Tuesday's game.
Torrealba suffered a concussion Aug. 18 when a foul ball careened off his mask in the eighth inning of a 7-2 loss to the Orioles. Rockies manager Walt Weiss said pregame they were still waiting for Torrealba to be cleared.
"He may be back today; we're waiting on some confirmation on that," Weiss said. "We don't have confirmation yet."
A strong defensive catcher valued for his knowledge behind the plate, Torrealba entered Tuesday hitting .252 with 10 RBIs and six doubles in 51 games.
To make room, Colorado sent infielder Ryan Wheeler back to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Wheeler played in 10 games for the Rockies, starting three, going 4-for-19 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.
Named to the All-Pacific Coast League team, Wheeler hit .308 with 10 homers and 81 RBIs in 110 games with the Sky Sox.
CarGo feels 'way better' in batting practice
DENVER -- For the first time in nearly three weeks, Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez took batting practice before Tuesday's game against the Giants.
Gonzalez has not played since Aug. 4 due to a sprained right middle finger that has bothered him since July 7, leaving the Rockies without one of the lineup's most potent bats. The injury made it difficult for him to swing, and the club finally opted for the DL after Gonzalez played through the pain and took occasional games off.
"It's way better now than it was," Gonzalez said after batting practice. "Even when I was doing dry swings before, I was unable to put any weight on my bat, but this feels better now -- way better than when I went to the DL."
Gonzalez said he fought through some soreness, but knows the finger won't fully heal until the offseason. To dampen the pain, he will keep the finger wrapped when he returns.
After sending several balls over the fence during batting practice, CarGo is confident he'll be making a rehab start soon.
"I want to go on a rehab as soon as I can ... probably in a few days," Gonzalez said. "Let's see what [the club] wants to do, but I want to play. We will wait and see where they send me."
Gonzalez was having a MVP-caliber season before the injury with a .302 average, 26 homers, 70 RBIs and a league-best .591 slugging percentage.
• As expected, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing two games with left side soreness. He hit third in the lineup.
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.