9/5/2013 1:30 A.M. ET
Boggs gets fresh start in Colorado
By Ian McCue / MLB.com
DENVER -- Less than a year ago, Mitchell Boggs was a critical piece of a Cardinals team that made it to the National League National League Championship series.
He was a seventh- and eighth-inning specialist, allowing just two earned runs in nine postseason appearances. But much can change in a single offseason.
St. Louis tried to turn Boggs into a closer and he tried to tailor his pitches to that role, a change that proved to be his downfall.
"I tried to do more than what I needed to do," Boggs said. "Tried to make perfect pitches, which ultimately leads to you nibbling the strike zone and falling behind. Instead of being the aggressive guy that had made me successful, I was trying to be perfect and hit corners and make perfect pitches instead of letting my stuff take over and being aggressive. That's a bad place to be, being a pitcher."
Two months into this season, he was in Memphis playing for the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate, an 11.05 ERA in 14 2/3 innings forcing him off St. Louis' 40-man roster. Boggs admits his confidence took a serious hit, saying he "would be ignorant not to accept that."
Boggs landed in Colorado July 9 after the Cardinals traded him for an international signing bonus slot and welcomed the opportunity to restart with a new club.
A big part of Boggs returning to old form was realizing he's a ground-ball pitcher, an approach perfect for Coors Field, where the ball loves to fly. Boggs' overall numbers in Triple-A Colorado Springs were far from eye-popping -- he had an 8.27 ERA in 12 appearances.
But the righty said he started to find a groove with Colorado Springs, throwing 8 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run before he gave up three earned runs on Tuesday.
"I think for me, the key is just consistency and commanding the strike zone, being aggressive and getting ground balls," he said. "That's what I've done in the past, that's what I haven't done this year and I feel like if I'm going to get back to being the guy that I was, that's what I'm going to have to do."
After a brief stay with the Rockies in late July, Boggs earned a callup Tuesday. He's trying to backtrack, to relearn his old habits and prove he's not simply a one-hit wonder.
"I'm excited about this month and I realize I've got a great opportunity here and want to take advantage of it," Boggs said. "Just show them I'm capable of being as good as anybody in this league when I'm right."
Arenado day to day with right thumb bruise
DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado's bruised right thumb flared up in Wednesday night's 7-5 win over the Dodgers, forcing him out of the game after the fourth inning.
Arenado jammed the thumb on an inside fastball from Dodgers starter Edinson Volquez in a third-inning at-bat, but the rookie said he's been battling through the injury for about a month. The bruise is located on his inner thumb, in the padding near the base of the finger.
In the top of the fourth, Arenado left a throw to first short, and he said the error resulted from his inflamed thumb.
"I've been dealing with it for about a month now … whenever [I] get jammed," Arenado said. "Even when you hit it on the barrel, but not squarely on the barrel, it just pushes against it. It's been hurting for awhile now. So today I actually hit the ball pretty good, too, and it just hurt, it strung real bad and when I threw that ball to first, I couldn't even finish."
DJ LeMahieu replaced Arenado at third in the top of the fifth and went 1-for-2 with a single.
Arenado is confident he'll be ready to start Friday against the Padres following Thursday's off-day. He tried wearing padding under his glove to reduce the pain, but didn't like the feel.
"I tried padding, but it just doesn't feel right," Arenado said. "So, I'd rather try to tough it out than change my whole thing."
Arenado was 1-for-2 before departing, shooting a single to right in the second and grounding out to third in his final at-bat.
Among the top candidates for the National League Rookie of the Year Award, Arenado has played Gold-Glove level defense and established a reputation for timely hitting. His eight game-winning RBIs are second most on the team and the 13 go-ahead runs he's plated are tied for fourth.
Arenado joins left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, pitcher Tyler Chatwood and center fielder Dexter Fowler as Rockies players who have battled some type of hand injury this year.
"You could see when he threw the ball across the infield, he had no feeling in his thumb," manager Walt Weiss said. "It's another guy that's day to day with a hand issue. It's pretty vogue around here. I think he'll bounce back in a couple days."
Arenado, 22, is batting .270 with 10 homers and 47 RBIs, and his .317 average in August was the highest of his young career.
Oswalt could return in unknown role this weekend
DENVER -- His dominance may have come against inferior competition, but Roy Oswalt's rehab start Tuesday was strong enough to convince Rockies manager Walt Weiss he could be activated this weekend.
Weiss is not yet sure if Oswalt will rejoin the starting rotation or come out of the bullpen, but sounded committed to finding a role for the veteran right-hander.
"We're talking about him possibly making a return this weekend," Weiss said. "We don't know what that looks like yet, but we're talking about getting him involved."
Oswalt emerged from his start with the Rookie League Grand Junction Rockies with a positive outlook and said he's still hoping to start Sunday against the Padres in place of Chad Bettis. Oswalt needed just 55 pitches to toss 5 2/3 scoreless innings in Grand Junction, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out two.
"My stuff was pretty good," Oswalt said. "All four pitches I threw for strikes and was able to spot my fastball when I wanted to. I knew they would be swinging early and I threw a lot of strikes, so a lot of one-pitch outs, two-pitch outs because I wanted to keep my pitch count down."
It was Oswalt's first time playing competitive baseball since July 7, when he pulled his left hamstring covering home plate. The primary goal for the rehab was to face live batters in a true competitive setting, Oswalt said.
Most importantly, Oswalt had no setbacks with the hamstring.
"It feels actually pretty good today," he said. "The first three innings really had no issue and got a little tired later in the game, but it didn't hurt."
Oswalt struggled in four starts with the Rockies, going 0-4 with a 7.64 ERA.
Chatwood on schedule for Saturday's start
DENVER -- Tyler Chatwood is all but penciled in for his next start Saturday in San Diego.
That seemed like a very unlikely scenario Sunday, when Chatwood took a line drive directly off his pitching hand and was pulled from the game three batters later. But Chatwood said he had no setbacks after a bullpen session before Wednesday's game against the Dodgers.
"Bullpen went well, so as it stands today, he lines up to make his next start unless he has some issues tomorrow," manager Walt Weiss said. "Everything went pretty well today."
Chatwood has been one of the best surprises for the Rockies with a 3.25 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 16 starts. He was even more dominant in May and June, his July ERA took a major hit when the Braves drubbed him for seven earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. That was his final start before he went on the disabled list with right elbow impingement.
CarGo's playing status is day to day
DENVER -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss wasn't sure if slugger Carlos Gonzalez would be available to hit against the Dodgers Wednesday night.
As recently as two days ago, it looked like Gonzalez might be back in the Rockies lineup for good. But he had a setback with the sprained middle finger that had him on the disabled list before his third rehab start. On Monday, the conversation quickly turning to how much he can play.
Gonzalez played left field in the eighth inning Tuesday night and immediately announced his presence, holding Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis at third on a double that kept Los Angeles' lead at two runs. But as expected, he was removed in the bottom of the inning, pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge making up for his absence by belting a solo homer over the left-field wall.
"Even if he's not hitting, there's ways he can impact the game, as you saw last night," Weiss said.
"We've talked about different options. I think as it stands right now, we're going to play it by ear. If it gets to the point where that thing really flares up and we're closing in on the end of the season, and of course we'll make that judgment. But as it stands now, we're going to go day to day with him."
Gonzalez did not take batting practice Wednesday and Weiss said his status us unchanged -- he will only play when his hand feels strong enough to do so, and he will be rested as necessary.
• A year removed from a shoulder injury, the Rockies know they need to be careful with 24-year-old starter Chad Bettis. But Weiss said Bettis, who's thrown 97 2/3 combined innings in the Minors and Majors, is not operating on a specific innings limit.
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.