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Rockies notes, 4/21

April 21, 2012 Comments off

Scutaro impresses Tracy with unselfishness

By Jordan Schelling / Special to MLB.com

MILWAUKEE — Following the Rockies’ 4-3 victory Friday night over the Brewers, manager Jim Tracy gave high praise to Michael Cuddyer for his “professional” pinch-hit at-bat.During his pregame session with reporters Saturday afternoon, Tracy took the opportunity to point out another at-bat during that same ninth inning.

“One of the things that I saw last night that I think is so significant to championship-caliber type baseball is the Marco Scutaro at-bat in the ninth inning,” Tracy said. “Here’s a pro standing at home plate that’s 0-for-4 and you could tell by the way he went about his business with the at-bat he has no issues whatsoever in being 0-for-5, just so long as Eric Young Jr. is standing at third base with one out.”

And that is exactly what Scutaro delivered, driving a 1-2 curveball from Axford deep to right for the first out of the inning. Young tagged, and scored the go-ahead run from third one batter later on Cuddyer’s pinch-hit single.

Thanks to a pair of pinch hits and an overlooked, but very significant fly out to right, the Rockies got the run they needed to complete Friday night’s victory.

“It’s that type of stuff right there that separates clubs that are playing Major League baseball and those that are playing very significant games in the latter part of the season,” Tracy said. “That was such an unselfish, professional act that we needed to see more of a year ago like we saw a lot of in 2009 and 2010. That is a big time separator in my opinion.”

De La Rosa pitches well in extended spring

MILWAUKEE — In extended Spring Training action Saturday, lefties Jorge De La Rosa and Josh Outman each pitched without any issues.

De La Rosa went four innings as scheduled, tossing just over 60 pitches. Outman did not throw during game action, but pitched two simulated innings.

“From what I understand, everything came out just fine,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “[De La Rosa] used all of his pitches: fastball, slider, change and curveball. Didn’t meet resistance with anything.”

Outman, who is rehabbing an oblique injury suffered earlier this month, is scheduled to pitch an inning in a game early next week.

Both pitchers are moving along just the way the Rockies would like them to. Tracy declined to speculate, though, on when either might see time in Minor League rehab games, especially De La Rosa, who is working his way back from Tommy John surgery.

“We’ll eventually get there,” Tracy said. “Do I have a specific time period in mind? The answer is ‘No’.

“There is no rush in this one. We’ll go according to how [De La Rosa] feels and the progression that has been mapped out for him.”

Jordan Schelling is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies notes, 4/20

April 20, 2012 Comments off

Injured Cuddyer comes through in pinch

By Jordan Schelling / Special to MLB.com

MILWAUKEE — Michael Cuddyer was already scheduled to get a game off this week. So, with his injured toe still bothering him a bit on Friday, Cuddyer was not in the starting lineup.But injured toe and all, Cuddyer delivered the biggest hit of the game on Friday night: A pinch-hit single in the ninth to score what proved the winning run in a 4-3 victory over the Brewers.

Having fouled a ball off his foot during Wednesday’s game against the Padres, Cuddyer left after six innings with a bruised left big toe. Two pitches after the foul ball in question, Cuddyer belted a two-run home run in the Rockies’ 8-4 victory.

“It’s feeling better, but still sore,” Cuddyer said before Friday’s game.

Tyler Colvin got the start in right field on Friday.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy indicated that while Cuddyer could play if necessary, they would prefer to take the extra day and avoid any further injury to the toe. It helped that Cuddyer already was supposed to a day off soon.

“It was supposed to be this day, but it’s kind of a combination of both,” Tracy said. “If he was to bang another one down off there tonight very quickly and he walks in there tomorrow and tells me it will be a month before you see him again, I think it’s a really, really good idea to just back off for a day.

“As a result he gets a couple days in a row … and if everything goes according to plan, he’ll be out there tomorrow and ready to go again for another extended period of time.”

De La Rosa, Outman to pitch spring games

MILWAUKEE — Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa will pitch on Saturday in an extended Spring Training game, along with fellow lefty Josh Outman.

De La Rosa, who is in his fifth season with the Rockies, made just 10 starts a year ago before having Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.

“It will be to the tune of four innings and 60 pitches,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.

Outman is working his way back after an oblique strain sustained earlier this month, after the 27-year-old reliever got food poisoning that resulted in a significant amount of vomiting.

“His will be a more controlled circumstance,” Tracy said. “His is more of a batting practice-type situation than it is actually pitching in the game like Jorge’s going to do.”

For Roenickes, series a family affair

MILWAUKEE — When right-handed reliever Josh Roenicke looks in from the visiting bullpen this weekend at Miller Park, he’ll see a very familiar face in the home dugout.

That’s because Roenicke’s uncle, Ron, is the Brewers’ second-year manager.

“I’m never very comfortable having him on the other side,” Ron said of Josh. “I’m rooting for him, but I’m rooting against him today. I hope he has a good year, but not against us.”

The younger Roenicke is in his second year with the Rockies, and will be squaring off against his uncle for the fourth time in his career. While he did not pitch last September during the Rockies’ two-game set in Milwaukee, Josh took the mound three times during the 2009 and 2010 seasons with the Blue Jays against the Angels, when Ron was bench coach under Mike Scioscia.

Toronto won two of those three games against Los Angeles.

“I did pretty well against them,” Josh said. “It’s always fun [to face] him.”

Josh and Ron Roenicke talked on the phone on Thursday night, and also chatted on the field before Friday’s series opener.

The two are fairly close, and always spend time together in California during the holidays, where baseball is one of the main topics of conversation within the Roenicke family. Josh’s father Gary also played in the Major Leagues and Ron’s son Lance, who is an outfielder at UC-Santa Barbara, could be the next to carry on the family tradition.

“I saw him during Spring Training, and we went to dinner,” Josh said of Ron. “I’ll text him once in a while. A couple times a month, maybe.”

Josh, whose athletic ability Ron raved about before Friday’s game, said he keeps up with how the Brewers are doing throughout the season, checking the standings and boxscores, while also getting updates when he talks to his father.

With the Rockies having missed the 2011 playoffs, Josh was a big Brewers fan during the month of October.

“That was cool seeing him in his first year go to the playoffs; they had a good team,” said Josh, who also liked what he saw out of the Brewers in winning two of their last three coming into this weekend.

“It was good that they took a couple from the Dodgers.”

Jordan Schelling is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.