Corpas to Undergo Surgery

July 23, 2009 | 6:22 am | 16  

Right-hander Manny Corpas is scheduled for surgery Friday to remove bone chips from his right elbow, the latest setback for the Rockies bullpen.

Closer Huston Street is the only member of the bullpen who has been on the active roster all season.

There were indications that Jhoulys Chacin, the Rockies’ top-ranked pitching prospect, could be called up and moved into the bullpen to take Corpas’ place on the Rockies roster.

Chacin was pulled after one inning in Double-A Tulsa’s 1-0 win against Springfield on Wednesday “as a precaution for possible, future organizational moves,” according to a statement issued by the Drillers.

Corpas was diagnosed with floating bone chips in his elbow earlier in the season, and spent four weeks on the disabled list before being activated last week. The hope was that once that inflammation subsided Corpas would be able to finish the season before needing surgery.

He returned to the roster by working a scoreless inning at San Diego on Saturday, but gave up three runs in a 10-6 victory against Arizona on Monday.

Corpas said he did not feel any pain in the elbow until he went home after that game, and the swelling returned.

Unable to find a trade they are comfortable with for an experienced reliever, the Rockies have shown a willingness to move a starting pitching prospect into a bullpen role.

Left-hander Franklin Morales was recently promoted and is now the only left-hander in the bullpen.

16 Comments »

  • Agbayani | July 23, 2009 | 7:19 am

    Reading between the lines: we’re guessing de la Rosa to the pen, Chacin into the rotation?

    I’m o.k. with that as a short-term solution. Losing Embree was really a blow. Longer term this season I’d like to see another lefty reliever (Beimel, Sherrill, Wuertz) brought in to bring some stability to the pen. Another lefty in the pen would really give Tracy the ability to play match up through the 7th and 8th, since Daley and Speier are particularly effective against righties, Morales and the new guy against lefties. Since we’re unlikely to acquire a stud setup guy, that’s probably the best hope for patching together a decent bullpen for a playoff run.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | July 23, 2009 | 7:35 am

    Agbayani, I think a possiblity would be Chacin into a bullpen role, simliar to Morales. He has two quaity pitches, a fastball and a changeup, which is an out pitch against left-handed hitters. He still hasn’t refined the breaking pitch. I could see the Rockies looking to break him in by working out of the pen the last cojple months, not giving teams an extended look at him. That might help him build confidence and set the stage for a rotation role a year from now.

  • Redhawk | July 23, 2009 | 8:00 am

    Why Chacin?

    Why not Deduno Or Rogers, who are both already on the 40 roster? Both have as good or better 2 pitch combos than Chacin. Deduno also projects to be a reliever and not a starter in his MLB career, so now would be a good time to make what many think is a inevitable transition.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | July 23, 2009 | 8:14 am

    It’s only speculation on Chacin so you may be right. As for why with Chacin, the reasons could include (and again this is my speculation) they feel he is more mature and so would handle the big league situation better right now, and the 40-man roster isn’t an issue. They opened a roster spot when Hirsch cleared waivers. Chacin would have been called up in September anyway, and above all else, Chacin would have had to be put on the 40 in the off-season. Calling him up for the final two months won’t affect arbitration or free agency, either.

  • Redhawk | July 23, 2009 | 8:33 am

    I wasn’t suggesting anything actually. I just find it odd that of the prospects the Rockies have for the bullpen in their minor league system they pick Chacin. (even if he’s listed by BA as the Rockies #1 prospect)

    Deduno, and Escalona project better as relievers (well Escalona IS a reliever now). Rogers may have passed Chacin as future impact starter in the Rockies system. Hynick may also have a future in the pen, as he doesn’t look to have enough plus pitches for a major league starter either. If Shane Lindsey hadn’t been hurt he probably would be in the Rockies pen right now.

    and I went and counted…you are correct there is only 39 on the 40 man, atm.

    But if we are just speculating: I’m sticking with Chacin to the Jays. Now…where is that electrical tape to make my Holliday jersey into a Halladay jersey.

  • Cisco Kid | July 23, 2009 | 8:33 am

    Hasn’t history taught the Rox when a pitcher is hurt and surgery is enevitable, to go ahead and have the surgery right away rather than try to rehab the injury in hopes of having it get better? This has happened recently with Francis, Bucholz, and now Corpas. If surgery had been done on Corpas’s elbow when it first flared up in June, he’d be available for the stretch run in August & Sept.

  • Steve | July 23, 2009 | 8:47 am

    Also a factor…..if Marquis’ blister requires a trip to the DL, then Chacin would slot into his spot in the rotation. That may be the reason Chacin was picked (potentially picked) instead of Deduno or Rogers. With no move made yet, and an off-day today, no move needs to be made till tomorrow. My guess is that it all revolves around that blister.

  • Karl | July 23, 2009 | 9:03 am

    Cisco, I would say from personal experience you always want to try to physically rehab first before surgeries. Because not all surgeries fix the issues. Yes some can come back stronger, but often, the rehab on the back end affects a person as well. It’s training your mind to learn your new shoulder and how it is working. In a pitcher’s case, when you lose that same arm slot or always wonder if the pitch will go where you want it, the fear of the unknown is career threatening.

  • Christopher Morton | July 23, 2009 | 9:15 am

    I was thinking back in June that they should have pulled the chip then rather than re-hab, but as one who has had three surgeries on my right arm (sports related), Karl is right, surgeries are not cure alls. The good news is Corpas should be back by the stretch.

    Long-term isn’t Hammel the better bullpen guy than DLR? He has had successs in the role, is struggling starting at Coors, and DLR has been both good of late and not well suited to the pen.

    Chacin is interesting, but after seeing him pitch in the spring, his 3 and 4 pitches are not good enough yet to start. Don’t think I have seen Rogers, but good reports. Both are long-term rotation guys. But Tracy’s comment about maturity is important. How a guy handles the bigs is as important as their tools for the bigs (see Morales and DLR for cases in point).

    Injuries hit everyone, and now we are down two arms, at least until the blister heals. Can our minor leauges, through talent or trades, get us through this? It did in 2007 (remember the dominos falling til we were left with Fogg as our #2?). I like being up int he WC and the taelnt we have in the minors, but this is going to be tough stretch. This is where small market teams get tested – depth. Do we have enough? All I know is lets go Rockies – sweep the GMen!

  • Eric | July 23, 2009 | 9:27 am

    Tracy,

    All reports that I’ve heard suggest that the Rockies are shying away from trading for a proven reliever. I’m assuming the reason is that teams are asking for too much in terms of prospects. Can you confirm this, and, more specifically, can you fill us in on who teams are asking for in return? Thanks for the updates!

  • Tracy Ringolsby | July 23, 2009 | 9:42 am

    To try and answer several quesitons at once.
    The reason there is a delay, most often, in surgery is that surgery requires the player to be willing. A team cannot order a player to have surgery. Out of respect for the player teams rarely make issues out of such things. They try and prepare for them, however. The Rockies, for instance, were confinced that surgery would be needed for Francis, which is why they made the Marquis deal in the off-season. I would suspect that the Rockies knew the same with Corpas, but he wasn’t anxious to be cut on and given that the chips weren’t in the joint they crossed their fingers that he could pitch through the problem and have the surgery in the fall.

    As for the Rockies looking for relievers, they are. I think there is a feeling within that given the abilities and/or costs of those available, they are better served by looking at the arms from within. There had been talks with Boston about Atkins, but the Red Sox were pushing Saito in return. He has his own injury problems and has incentives that will make his contract about the same as Atkins. The Rockies were more interested in Delcarmen.

    The Rockies did have interest in Chad Qualls, but Arizona and the Rockies aren’t real easy fits (see Josh Byrnes, Boston and Larry Bigby) and Arizona put any talks about Qualls on hold once it dealt Tony Pena, Jr.

    I believe there is some interest in Beimel but there also is a feeling that he will be gone in two months. Remember, he turned down a simliar offer from the Rockies to sign with Washington, effectively making it known he didn’t want to be in Colorado. The Nationals want Eric Young, Jr., in return. Pittsburgh is having a fire sale and also has strong interest in Young. My only assumption is that Jim Tracy knows what he likes and doesn’t like in Pittsburgh so that could explain the hesitancy to move on a Grabow or a Capps, who is struggling big time.

    Personally, I’d think EY would be a candidate for some type of deal in light of the fact Barmes should be solid at second for some time. While Barmes doesn’t have teh speed of EY, his defense is tenfold and he brings some run production. Being such a good fastball hitter and having the ability to drive the ball makes him a very good No. 2 hitter ahead of Todd Helton, even if he is not the prototypical No. 2 hitter.

  • Matt | July 23, 2009 | 10:16 am

    Thanks Tracy!!

    Just for giggles, what do you think it would take to land Halladay? It seems that the package would have to include a top pitching prospect (Chacin or Rogers?), middle infield (Nelson?), possibly a catcher (Rosario?), and something else?

    I’m hopelessly wishing that we can bring Halladay back to Colo and make a major push on the Dodgers! It seems the rotation would end up being Doc, Marquis, Ubaldo, Cook, and DLR with Hammel moving to the pen. That would be a pretty formidable pitching staff!!

    Projecting out to next year, we would start off with Halladay, Ubaldo, Cook, Francis and DLR/Hammel with Freidrich, Rogers/Chacin (whichever we retain), Hynick and others still in the farm system in the event of major injury.

    Oh the possibilities!!

  • Redhawk | July 23, 2009 | 11:01 am

    Matt,
    Tracy might be better to say the real price behind the scenes for Halladay as he wrote a nice piece for Fox Sports, but publicly the Jays have asked for 2 major league starters or major league ready players, PLUS 2 top prospects that could be lower.

    So, you are looking as Stewart or Jimenez, Iannetta (or maybe one of McKenry/Rosario), Chacin, and Gomez (and no the Jays don’t want OF’ers, unless the team would take Wells and his contract which with Halladay would be over $20 million a year in salary)

    which by the way is too high of a price. Ricardii is looking to have a job saving deal. But that kind of a deal ends up getting the other GM fired.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | July 23, 2009 | 11:09 am

    Tracy’s post pretty much goes along with the rest of the rumors out there–with so many teams still seemingly in it, and so few willing to take on payroll, it’s a sellers market, and the sellers are asking for the guys no one wants to give up–young, cheap talent.

    You can also see why Boston declined to send Delcarmen when they were able to acquire a similar player (given their needs) for two middling minor leaguers.

  • Doc | July 23, 2009 | 11:23 am

    “…Jim Tracy knows what he likes and doesn’t like in Pittsburgh…”

    I wonder if Jim Tracy’s experience in Pittsburgh is why Josh Fogg has been the forgotten man. There has to be something going on.

  • Townie | July 23, 2009 | 11:31 am

    Hey Doc,

    Steve actually looked that up yesterday during the live chat because I wondered the same thing. It turns out Tracy and Fogg never overlapped in Pittsburgh, so the only history they have is the short time this season.