Colorado Rockies Wiretap
The Rockies benched struggling shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in Monday night's game against the Padres.
"It's pretty obvious I haven't been swinging the bat well," Tulowitzki said Monday. "Defensively, I'm doing all right. But at the same time, the coaches always say they are going to put the best lineup out there to win, and I think this is our best lineup."
Colorado manager Clint Hurdle hinted that the team could give him a few days off to clear his head.
"We've all got to find a way for him to put a foot down on this thing," Hurdle said of Tulo's slump. "He will get some extended work inside (in the batting cages) and we'll get him back in sooner than later, to see where we are with it. The kid can hit, and he's not hitting, and the strikeouts are alarming. He knows that."
Jason Hammel, who the Rockies acquired from the Rays on April 5, will make his first start for the team on Monday night against the Padres.
"They brought me over here for a reason, and I'm ready to cash that in for them," said Hammel.
He hasn't started a game in nearly a year.
"I'll do whatever they want me to do. Obviously, I came up as a starter. I've done it all. I'm happy to get that opportunity again. I've worked really hard to get back there. We'll see what happens," he added.
The Rockies have stumbled out of the gate, but general manager Dan O'Dowd says that he won't make any drastic moves.
"Clint knows what we need to do to win. I don't sense him (managing with urgency). He wants to get it right," O'Dowd said of manager Clint Hurdle. "We can tinker with the bullpen, which we will. But the 11th reliever is not going to make or break the club. We need our guys to step up, and they know that."
The team's pitching has struggled mightily. Colorado's starters are 4-5 with a 5.63 ERA, and their relievers have allowed 11 home runs with a 6:13 ERA.
"It goes back to starting pitching. We are using our bullpen guys when we have to, not when we want to. You need the rotation at the front end and the closer to anchor the back, and the rest of it starts to fall into place," O'Dowd said.
Manny Ramirez hit his first home run of the season on Saturday afternoon against the Rockies, the only team he hadn't hit a homer against in his career.
Ramirez's homer came in the first inning off Aaron Cook, and he followed it up with a second solo shot in the third inning.
The Rockies are expected to shop third baseman Garrett Atkins if they fall out of the postseason race this summer, and Todd Helton could play a role as well.
There are two scenarios that could allow Atkins to remain in Colorado, if the Rockies are contending or if Helton's back injury flares up again.
Rockies Apr 2009 Archive