SAN DIEGO -- The Rockies' Jordan Pacheco made his second career start at catcher Sunday against the Padres, after delivering the game-winning hit in Saturday night's 12-inning victory over the Padres.The Rockies felt catching was the best route to the Majors for Pacheco, the team's ninth-round choice in the MLB First-Year Player Draft in 2007, and moved him to the position early in his Minor League career. But when he arrived last year, the opening was at third base, where he has made 58 starts this season. But with Wilin Rosario recovering from a slight left ankle sprain that he suffered Friday night and with veteran Ramon Hernandez dealing with major bruises on each arm and his ribs that he suffered the last two nights, manager Jim Tracy put Pacheco behind the plate for the first time this season. Pacheco caught a bullpen session before Saturday's game to reacquaint himself with the position. "I haven't worked there a lot, but we'll see how it goes," Pacheco said, smiling. "Ask me in a couple of hours." Pacheco, 26, whose .306 batting average going into Sunday was tops among National League rookies, received high marks for his catching work during Spring Training, especially with blocking pitches in the dirt. The Rockies hoped that would come in handy Sunday, with left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich, who likes to throw a curveball that dips into the dirt when the batter swings. Tracy said Rosario, whose 15 home runs lead Major League rookies, did extensive running Sunday morning, but is having trouble pushing off his left leg to go to his right. Still, Tracy believes Rosario will continue to improve and will not need to go onto the disabled list.
Roenicke ideal reliever in Rockies' new system
SAN DIEGO -- Right-handed reliever Josh Roenicke has pitched enough innings that the Rockies should call him an honorary starting pitcher.At 57 1/3 innings, Roenicke (2-0, 2.20 ERA) went into Sunday leading Major League relievers. The Rockies are developing a paired pitching system featuring five starters and three hybrid types who can either pitch at length when the starter is ineffective or handle matchups. The work Roenicke, 29, has done is research and development when it comes to solidifying what the club envisions for that hybrid role. "We [pitchers] didn't know where things were going to go when we first announced it, either," said Roenicke, who has a 0.61 ERA in his 12 outings of two or more innings. Interestingly, the shorter Roenicke's appearances, the better the games are for the Rockies. He has done well covering extended innings, but usually he has to pitch so long because the starter has already pitched the Rockies into a hole. Still, if he can stop a game from getting out of control, the Rockies' offense has a chance to pull the team back into the contest. Roenicke said he has been able to handle the work. "My arm has been bouncing back real well this year," said Roenicke, who threw two scoreless innings Friday night against the Padres in his last outing. "Usually after one day off, I feel decent, and they usually give me two off before I throw again, and I always feel 100 percent by then."
Helton likely needs more time to rest hurting hip
SAN DIEGO -- More soreness in his right hip has made it unlikely that Rockies first baseman Todd Helton will be activated Tuesday, when he is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list for a right hip injury.Helton went 1-for-3 with an RBI Saturday for Rookie-level Grand Junction in his second injury rehab game Saturday, but he left the game after a collision at first base. Manager Jim Tracy said Sunday that Helton was still sore. The issue with activating Helton, who hit .235 with seven homers and 34 RBIs in 63 games before going to the DL, is his ability to bounce back after playing. Helton will rest Sunday and Monday, and the Rockies will determine the next step from there. "You let the day go today or give him another day to find out how quickly the soreness dissipates or doesn't," Tracy said. "That'll go a long way in determining the direction and how much additional time he needs." In other injury news, Tracy said the club was still discussing whether to have right-hander Jhoulys Chacin pitch in another simulated game or begin a Minor League injury rehab assignment. Chacin hasn't pitched since May 1 because of a nerve injury in the right side of his chest.
Pomeranz likely to miss next outing with arm soreness
SAN DIEGO -- Rockies left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who suffered left arm soreness during his start Friday night, most likely will have his start Tuesday at Arizona pushed back, manager Jim Tracy said."I don't know that [a Tuesday start] is a possibility just yet," Tracy said. "He's going to play catch tomorrow in Arizona to determine the extent. Is it just a push-back or is it anything else?" The workload for Pomeranz (1-5, 4.98 ERA), who didn't debut as a professional until last season, yet appeared in the Majors at the end of last season, was a concern going into the year. The club intended to limit his workload this year. Although the current soreness was not anticipated, the team already was planning to monitor and at times curtail his innings. Pomeranz has thrown 94 innings, including 43 1/3 in nine starts in the Majors. Pomeranz also has yet to throw on three days' rest, which is required in the team's current pitching system that uses four starters. Tuesday would have been his first time. It's unclear how the Rockies will fill the start. Tracy said they could call up a pitcher from the Minors or go to righty Carlos Torres (1-0, 2.19 ERA).
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.