9/18/2013 1:10 A.M. ET
Whirlwind season has Boggs facing former team
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
DENVER -- Mitchell Boggs has gone from being counted on in the Cardinals' bullpen at the start of the season to hoping to be a force against them this week.
Boggs struggled with the Cardinals (0-3, 11.05 ERA, 2-for-4 in save opportunities during a brief trial as closer) before being sent to Triple-A Memphis, then being traded to the Rockies for an international signing bonus slot on July 9. Boggs spent most of his Rockies time at Triple-A Colorado Springs, but has posted a 3.86 ERA in five Major League appearances entering Tuesday's game against his former team.
Boggs pitched a scoreless eighth inning in Tuesday's 11-4 loss to the Cardinals, allowing one hit and one walk.
The Rockies need to evaluate Boggs, 29, to see where he fits in the future. Manager Walt Weiss said Boggs profiles as a late-inning reliever and there is opportunity. What Boggs does in the final days of this season could help with the evaluation. The possibility of him having a chance to prove himself against his old club -- one he helped win the 2011 World Series -- intrigues him.
"I would be lying if it wasn't a little bit weird seeing those guys, but at the same time you want to get out there and compete," said Boggs, who said he remains in close contact with Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday and pitchers Adam Wainwright and Jake Westbrook. "I want to get out there and do my job. It's part of the game.
"I try to stay in touch with those guys as best I can, but we're all busy. They're certainly in the middle of a pennant race. Those guys were great teammates and good friends. It won't change."
Boggs has thrown scoreless ball in all but one of his Rockies appearances. He was touched for two runs in his last appearance, when he gave up two hits, including an Aaron Hill leadoff homer, at Arizona on Saturday. Boggs realizes the Rockies have to look at a lot of pitchers during this expanded roster period, but he must be ready to excel.
"That's how September is, you just stay sharp as best you can and when you get the opportunity, take advantage of it." Boggs said. "I certainly think there are positives to build on. That's my focus. I feel I'm capable of getting the job done.
"I certainly would like to put myself in the picture for next year. They told me they're going to give me an opportunity to do that. That's all I can ask."
Rosario leaves another game with calf pain
DENVER -- Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario was removed from his second straight game on Tuesday night with pain in his right calf, this time after two innings. The Rockies called the injury "soreness," but manager Walt Weiss said after the game it appears to be a muscle strain.
On Monday, Rosario exited after driving in the go-ahead run on a single in the eighth inning of a 6-2 victory over the Cardinals because of cramping in his right calf. Rosario said he experienced some cramping during the team's recent trip to Arizona.
In mid-August, Rosario missed time with cramping in both hamstrings. Weiss said the wear and tear of catching could be the issue with Rosario's legs. Rosario, a second-year player, is batting .292 with 21 home runs and 79 RBIs.
"It's popped up on him a few times in the last couple of weeks, so I see him being down for a couple days," Weiss said. "It's tough to say. It's the end of the season. Those guys get nicked up pretty good back there. He's young and strong. It's just a tweak in the calf from running. I think it happened a couple of weeks ago and it's just hanging around."
Betancourt's dad tweets surgery pics of son
The father of Rockies veteran closer Rafael Betancourt, who suffered a season-ending right elbow injury, tweeted out pictures of his son's Tommy John ligament transfer surgery on Tuesday. Betancourt, 38, was 2-5 with a 4.08 ERA and 16 saves in 19 chances before the injury.
Noted surgeon James Andrews performed the surgery in the Orlando, Fla., area, where Betancourt lives in the offseason.
The Rockies and Betancourt have a $4.25 million club option on Betancourt's contract, but Betancourt is not expected to pitch next season. If either side doesn't pick up the option, Betancourt is due a $250,000 buyout.
Weiss sees positives in Bettis' setup appearance
DENVER -- Manager Walt Weiss wanted to see how hard-throwing right-hander Chad Bettis would do in a setup role, and there were positives despite allowing the tying run in the eighth inning of Monday night's 6-2 victory over the Cardinals.
Bettis hit leadoff man David Freese and gave up Matt Carpenter's two-out RBI double, but he also threw his fastball from 93 to 96 mph, struck out one and threw strikes on nine of his 15 pitches.
A second-round Draft pick in 2010 out of Texas Tech, Bettis did starting and relief duties in college. He made eight starts for the Rockies, but the team is intrigued by the increased fastball velocity in short outings. Weiss used Matt Belisle in the seventh, and Bettis, the Rockies' eighth-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, in the eighth. The Rockies broke the tie in the bottom of the eighth to give Bettis his first Major League win.
Bettis, 24, has said he enjoys starting, but after three relief outings he's enjoying himself in the bullpen.
Bettis' future will be discussed extensively during the winter. Given the lack of starting pitching depth around baseball, the Rockies have had a hard time not taking advantage of a Major League-ready power arm in that role. But with Bettis showing more power in relief, he's putting up a good argument for being used late. The question is whether the Rockies can build enough starting pitching depth to plan on Bettis pitching late.
"What's the best fit for him and for your club, and you make those determinations at a certain point," Weiss said of the decision. "With Bettis, it would be sometime this offseason. A lot of it comes down to the design of your club. That changes and evolves, even over the course of the season."
Weiss also was happy with the performance of right-hander Collin McHugh, who held the Cards to one run in five innings and threw just 72 pitches. The Rockies acquired McHugh during the season from the Mets, and they are looking for him to compete for a rotation spot next season.
Arenado out of lineup after thumb injury
DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado did not start on Tuesday night after suffering a recurrence of a thumb injury on Monday night, and his team lead in games played could be in jeopardy.
Arenado has played in 125 games. Michael Cuddyer started Tuesday, which brought his total to 124.
"He may be down for a few days," manager Walt Weiss said of Arenado. "His thumb is real tender. It blew up pretty good last night."
Finger, thumb and hand injuries have been a problem for the Rockies all season. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez could opt for season-ending surgery to repair his right middle finger. Pitcher Jorge De La Rosa had his latest start pushed back -- he hopes to Saturday -- because of a left thumb bruise. Righty Tyler Chatwood was removed from a start after he was hit on the right thumb by a batted ball. Earlier this season, center fielder Dexter Fowler suffered a right index finger injury, and compensating for that led to a right wrist injury that pushed him to the disabled list.
"The number of hand injuries … I've never seen this many in one season," Weiss said.
Fowler pinch-hit in Tuesday's 11-4 loss and lined out in his only at-bat.
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.