4/6/2014 4:43 P.M. ET
Bullpen delivering in first homestand
By Owen Perkins / Special to MLB.com
DENVER -- Colorado's bullpen had a rocky start to the season, as it was forced to work overtime on the road in Miami, but the relievers found their form during the opening weekend homestand at Coors Field, pitching 6 2/3 innings on Friday and Saturday and allowing only one run as the Rockies beat Arizona, 12-2 and 9-4, respectively.
"We got a great performance from the bullpen," manager Walt Weiss said of Saturday's effort in which the 'pen came in with a four-run deficit and shut down the D-backs while Colorado posted nine unanswered runs. "Tommy Kahnle was absolutely huge. [Adam] Ottavino having to go through the meat of that order in the seventh was really big, and Rex [Brothers] doing his thing in the eighth."
Kahnle picked up his first win, throwing 1 2/3 innings for the second time in two big league appearances. Closer LaTroy Hawkins made his second appearance of the season, pitching a scoreless ninth.
Ottavino struck out the side and has tallied eight strikeouts in three innings of work this season. After a ground-rule double over the center-field fence from A.J. Pollock, Ottavino struck out Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt and Martin Prado, catching Goldschmidt looking.
"I had been throwing him fastballs in the middle of the count to get to two strikes," Ottavino explained. "I think he didn't want to be behind on that. I knew I was going to throw it for a strike and see what he'd do. And he didn't swing.
"I know I'm going to throw a lot of breaking balls, but I got to keep him honest with a fastball inside. I was able to do that today."
The Rockies are currently carrying seven relievers, and should expand to eight when Boone Logan comes off the disabled list. Logan made back-to-back starts for Triple-A Colorado Springs Thursday and Friday and is expected to be activated Monday with one of the Rockies' six outfielders likely headed to Colorado Springs to get at-bats.
Anderson ready for Coors Field debut
DENVER -- Rockies fans got a look at one of the club's biggest offseason acquisitions Sunday afternoon when Brett Anderson took the mound and made his Coors Field debut.
Anderson has played parts of five seasons, compiling a 26-29 record and a 3.81 for the A's in 84 games and 73 starts. After making 30 starts in his rookie campaign of 2009, he has dealt with injuries every year since and hasn't made more than 19 appearances in any of his last four seasons.
The Rockies project Anderson to bolster the top of their rotation. He pitched six innings in Miami on Tuesday, allowing three earned runs on five hits and a walk.
"I'm just going to take it like another start," Anderson said of his first time taking the hill in Coors Field. "If you dwell on whether my pitches are going to move or not move as much as normal, you're going to worry yourself sick. You don't want to be thinking too much out there. If something doesn't work out, you try to figure out why it doesn't and move onto the next. You can't dwell on the elements or what have you. You have to be on your game."
Anderson profiles well for Coors Field, and his propensity for inducing ground balls made him an attractive acquisition for the Rockies. Colorado traded right-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz and lefty Chris Jenson for the former ace of the A's.
"I've been a ground-ball guy," Anderson said. "I'll keep trying to get ground balls here. My style is pretty conducive to Coors Field. If I can keep the ground balls I've been getting previously and remain healthy, then I shouldn't have any problems pitching here."
Anderson has soaked in advice from teammates who have done well at Coors Field, pitchers like Opening Day starter Jorge De La Rosa and potential rotation mates Jhoulys Chacin and Tyler Chatwood.
"They say, 'Be your own guy. Throw your pitches,'" Anderson said. "'If you start changing things right away, then it's going to snowball, and you're never going to figure out who you are here.'"
Manager Walt Weiss is confident about Anderson's ability to contribute and to thrive despite the challenges of pitching 5,280 feet above sea level.
"He's a good pitcher, regardless of where he's pitching," Weiss said. "He's got the ability to put the ball on the ground, the ability to miss the bat at times with his breaking ball. I'm not too worried about him. He's a pretty sharp guy. He knows what he's doing out there."
Chatwood, Chacin making progress
DENVER -- Tyler Chatwood and Jhoulys Chacin, two pitchers projected to join the Rockies' starting rotation, are making progress in their injury-rehabilitation assignments and appear to be on track to return in the coming weeks.
Chatwood (8-5, 3.15 ERA in 2013) went through pitcher's fielding practice on Sunday, and is scheduled to start for the Triple-A Sky Sox in Round Rock, Texas, on Tuesday. Chatwood suffered a left hamstring strain in the final week of Spring Training and is eligible to return from the disabled list on April 13 in San Francisco. Starting on Tuesday will put him on schedule to pitch that day. Based on the rotation's current lineup, that would be Jordan Lyles' (1-0, 7.20) turn.
"He'll make his rehab start, and we'll go from there," manager Walt Weiss said of Chatwood. "If all goes well, he'll be back in the rotation after that."
Chacin (14-10, 3.47), who had been a candidate to start Opening Day until suffering a right shoulder strain that put him on the disabled list retroactive to March 21, is also making progress and could be activated late in April or early in May.
Chacin has pitched in two live-batting-practice sessions and is scheduled for a simulated game on Monday or Tuesday. He'll pitch roughly three innings and 45 pitches in the simulated game. The next step for him will be to pitch in extended spring training in advance of a Minor League rehab start.
Morneau gets a breather
DENVER -- First baseman Justin Morneau got his first day of rest Sunday as the Rockies completed an unusual opening week of seven games without an off-day. With the Rockies facing D-backs left-hander Wade Miley, Rockies manager Walt Weiss moved right fielder Michael Cuddyer to first, shifted Charlie Blackmon from center to right, and started right-handed-hitting Drew Stubbs in center.
"It's not a platoon situation with Justin," Weiss emphasized. "He's going to face a lot of lefties this year. With his track record, he's going to get the benefit of the doubt. I know he didn't do so well last year, but he has a history of pounding lefties."
Morneau is hitting .333 (7-for-21) in five games since taking over as the Rockies regular first baseman following Todd Helton's retirement at the end of 2013.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.