9/1/2013 10:35 P.M. ET
Bettis takes away lessons from each outing
By Ian McCue / MLB.com
DENVER -- Chad Bettis is still learning how to be a big league pitcher.
Five weeks after he was called up from Double-A Tulsa and six starts into his Major League career, Bettis, 24, said he's emerging from each start with valuable lessons. And a big part of making that critical jump is figuring out how to be a pitcher rather than a thrower.
It's not an easy or seamless process -- Bettis is well aware, having twice allowed four earned runs or more.
"I think at the Double-A level, I was starting to learn how to pitch," Bettis said Sunday. "And then now up here, it's tenfold [what] it was down there, just because you're expected to win games here, so that's what we're trying to do. You have to learn how to pitch at this level, get that experience you need to get to start winning games."
"A guy that's worried about results, materialistic results, not the wins and losses, not trying to keep his team in the game," Bettis said about the difference between a pitcher and a thrower. "I think a pitcher has command of his pitches, command of the strike zone and figures out patterns and what he wants to do differently to each hitter."
Bettis starts Monday against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.
Line drive to hand forces Chatwood out of game
DENVER -- Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood's first start in more than a month lasted all of two-plus innings.
Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake smoked a line drive over the mound and Chatwood reflexively extended his right arm, the ball hitting his fingers and rolling into the outfield for a single in the third inning on Sunday. Manager Walt Weiss said after the Rockies' 7-4 victory that X-rays on his thumb were negative.
The Rockies' staff came out of the dugout to check on Chatwood after the play, but after watching him throw a few pitches, left him in the game.
The next batter, Shin-Soo Choo, sent a two-run homer over the right-field wall to tie the game at 2 and Chatwood walked the next two batters. Weiss and trainer Scott Gehret came back out of the dugout after the second walk and knew his time was up.
"It was sore, and then it started swelling up a little bit and kind of lost a little feeling in there," Chatwood said. "So it was frustrating. You wait a month to start and that happens."
Reliever Adam Ottavino worked his way out of Chatwood's jam to keep it a tie game.
Weiss said the swelling made it difficult for him to throw and Chatwood said he had trouble gripping the ball. However, Chatwood is still confident he'll have enough time to recover before his next scheduled start against the Padres on Saturday.
"I feel like I have a high pain tolerance and I'm able to get through stuff like this," Chatwood said. "So I think I should be able to make my next start."
Sunday was Chatwood's his first start for the Rockies since July 31 and had been on the disabled list since Aug. 7 with right elbow impingement. He said his arm felt great before he sustained the latest injury.
No setbacks for CarGo in first rehab game
DENVER -- His final line didn't have fans jumping from their seats, but the more important news from Carlos Gonzalez's first rehab start was his right middle finger didn't flare up.
Gonzalez played seven innings for Triple-A Colorado Springs in Fresno, Calif., Saturday night and finished 0-for-3 with two groundouts, reaching base on an error. It was the first time Gonzalez played competitive baseball since Aug. 4, before he landed on the disabled list Aug. 7 with a sprained right middle finger.
Gonzalez said Friday he would play two rehab games Saturday and Sunday and hoped to rejoin the big league club Tuesday for the final two games of the series against the Dodgers.
"He's going to play a couple more games," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Then hopefully he can join us sometime during that Dodgers series, before we take off. That's best-case."
Though the Rockies' playoff hopes have all but disappeared, Weiss, a former player, knows firsthand why it still matters that Gonzalez finish the year on the field instead of the bench. They will certainly welcome Gonzalez's offensive power to the lineup -- he leads the club in homers and RBIs -- but it can also help him mentally heading into next season.
"It's important that they finish the season healthy and productive and going into the offseason with that type of mindset setting up for next year," Weiss said. "It's just always a different feeling when you finish the season hurt as an injured player. It always feels like you're trying to work your way back from something."
Rutledge looks to contribute after September callup
DENVER -- Infielder Josh Rutledge will get another chance to prove he hasn't fallen victim to the "sophomore slump."
Rutledge was available in Sunday's series finale against the Reds after spending six weeks with Triple-A Colorado Springs, manager Walt Weiss said. He's the Rockies' first September callup as rosters expand to 40 players.
An Opening Day starter, Rutledge shined as a rookie last year when he filled in at shortstop for the injured Troy Tulowitzki. Moving to the big leagues straight from Double-A Tulsa after the 2012 All-Star break, Rutledge made a big splash, hitting .375 with 13 extra-base hits in his first 18 games.
Rutledge finished the year hitting .274 with eight homers and 37 RBIs, as his speed and ability to hit to all fields set him up to be a staple of the Rockies' infield.
"He's a very talented player," Weiss said. "It's just that second year is a tough year, and I think he experienced some of that this year. But there's no question about the ability and the athleticism."
Things haven't come so easily in year No. 2, when Rutledge had a .211 average with six homers and only 16 RBIs before he was sent to the Minors for the second time July 20.
Triple-A has allowed Rutledge to showcase his offensive talent, as he's hitting .371 with four homers and 24 RBIs with a .444 on-base percentage in 38 games with the Sky Sox. That may have been enough to bolster the confidence that seemed to fade during his sophomore campaign.
"It's tough to hear any of that stuff when you're a player and you get sent out, because you're disappointed, maybe discouraged and all you hear is you're getting sent out," Weiss said. "But I think Rut knows that we believe in his ability and [Sky Sox manager] Glenallen Hill spent a lot of time with him down there, just talking to him about the mental part of the game."
The Rockies also activated starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood (7-4, 3.15 ERA) before he made his first start since July 31 Sunday afternoon.
Weiss said he doesn't plan to make any moves Monday, but more callups will come Tuesday after the Triple-A season ends.
• Todd Helton will try to pick up his 2,500th career hit Sunday after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Saturday's loss to the Reds. After playing in three straight games, Weiss plans to sit Helton against the Dodgers on Monday.
• Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler missed his fifth consecutive start against the Reds on Sunday. He bruised his left knee trying to steal second in Monday's win over the Giants and has not played since.
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.