Young injured; starts set for Hammel, Francis

May 14, 2010 | 12:15 am | 28  

Eric Young Jr., has a stress fracture in his right tibia, an injury manager Jim Tracy said Young suffered in the fifth inning Wednesday when he made an awkward turn around first base on a ball that Phillies second baseman Chase Utley misplayed.

β€œHe showed up (Thursday) today with a lump (in his leg),” Tracy said. “There was a lump that (trainer) Keith (Dugger) was very concerned about and sent him to the hospital and they did an X-ray and the X-ray showed a small stress fracture of mid-tibia.”

Tracy said he didn’t know how long Young would be sidelined.

Infielder Jonathan Herrera, a plus defensive player with some life to his bat, is expected to take Young’s spot on the roster. Herrera is hitting .313 at Triple-A Colorado Springs, and has a .410 average his last 10 games.

After getting hurt, Young stayed in the game, which the Rockies won 4-3 in 10 innings, and was involved in a close play at first base in the ninth. He grounded to shortstop and was called out at first base by umpire Cory Blaser. Tracy argued the call and was ejected by Blaser.

In other news, Tracy announced after the Rockies 14-6 loss to the Nationals on Thursday night, that Jason Hammel will start Saturday and Jeff Francis will start Sunday. Both pitchers will be activated from the disabled list, so corresponding roster moves will have to be made.

Lefthander Greg Smith would seem to be in a precarious position in light of the plans to activate Hammel and Francis. Smith’s normal turn in the rotation would have been Saturday, when Hammel is now starting.

Hammel has been sidelined with a strained right groin and last pitched for the Rockies on April 26. Francis last pitched for the Rockies on Sept. 12, 2008. “A lot of time has passed since the last time I pitched,” Francis said. “I look forward to being out there and helping this team win a bunch of ballgames.”

Jhoulys Chacin suffered his first loss in Thursday’s game, which was called after eight innings due to rain. He gave up two homers to Ryan Zimmerman and allowed six hits and six runs in five innings. Chacin’s string of 15 1/3 scoreless innings, including 14 1/3 in his two starts, to begin the season ended when Zimmerman hit a two-run homer in the first. The Nationals third baseman capped a four-run sixth when the Nationals strung together three straight two-out hits with a three-run homer.

β€œA young kid who’s been brilliant the first two times didn’t have a very good start,” Tracy said. “But young kids that become very good pitchers bounce back from things like that, so that’s the interesting sequel that we’ll wait to see here in about five days.”

28 Comments »

  • GARY | May 14, 2010 | 1:20 am

    Well the great EYJ-MORA-HERRERA-et.al.debate has been partially solved by default.Assume Francis-Hammel starts sends Rogers,Smith to CS? Herrera takes EYJ spot?Is Mora going on DL? This has really been nutty-not even sure if u can tell the players even with a scorecard!

  • Trip | May 14, 2010 | 7:33 am

    Hold on all you Rockettes. We’re in for an interesting ride for the next few weeks. Should be interesting.

  • Agbayani | May 14, 2010 | 7:56 am

    This is getting weird. Not just injuries; now we have freak injuries.

    Looking forward to Francis coming back. I loved watching him pitch. If the surgery/recovery has put just a little more zip back on his pitches, he has a good chance of being the same guy who was so valuable back in ’07.

  • Rich M | May 14, 2010 | 8:20 am

    Would someone please tell Chacin that’s its ok to walk Zimmerman. You can’t miss middle up with that guy, those home run balls were hit really hard.

    EY2 – I might be the only one, but I’m gonna miss ya! Barmes was his usual self at the plate last night. Just a couple of hits from Barmes with runners in scoring position and the game goes the other way.

  • Cisco Kid | May 14, 2010 | 8:56 am

    Interesting column by Kizla in the Post this morning. Can’t say I disagree much with what he wrote. Just like last season, this team is slowly falling into an abyss. They are already 6 games behind in the division. It took Hurdle’s firing last season to get this team going, so the time for shock treatment may soon be upon us. When do we start discussing having Fowler go down to CS? How long can this team withstand seeing Barmes flailing away wildly with men on base and his .220 avg.? There are just too many holes in this lineup right now to make a consistent winner. It’s too bad EYjr will be out for awhile. But this will give us a chance to see Herrera and what he can do. Being a switch hitter can give the team some versatility. He’s only 25, so it’s not as though this guy’s a journeyman.

    The addition of the injured pitchers coming back will help, but the team needs a consistent batting order. Let’s also give Spilly more at bats against lefthanded starters.

  • ian | May 14, 2010 | 9:28 am

    Cisco,

    I wouldn’t say it’s like last season. There have been significant injuries to all parts of the team. How would SF be doing if they lost Cain, Sandoval and Wilson for 2 or more weeks at a time? They would probably be struggling a little.

    Let’s not go overboard. They’re 2 games under. That is with a lot of injuries to key players and the team isn’t playing especially well.

    The problem is everyone is looking at the team through the lens of expectation. Since they’re not in first place everyone thinks they’re in trouble. Give it time. Let them play 2 weeks with a whole and healthy team. Then we’ll see if there are real problems.

    Don’t worry about the Padres. They won’t have a 650% at the end of the season. No one is going to run away with the division. The rox are 2 back of the giants. It will be ok.

  • Robb | May 14, 2010 | 9:42 am

    I agree with Ian; it’s too early to get too stressed out. However, that is two games this week where the ‘pen gave up huge innings late (Corpas gave up 4 to Philly and then last night). You can’t turn a 1-run deficit into a 5 or 6 run deficit in the 8th inning. While I think the bullpen has done alright considering the injuries, you still can’t have that. If they can stay within 6 or 7 games by June 1, we will have Street, Morales, and Buchholz back. SD will be a .500 team at best so it is really the Dodgers and Giants they have to worry about. And, I think the Dodgers are overrated by the national media. I am a Barmes fan as a person and a utility player, but he is a complete rally-killer. Not sure Herrera or EY are the long-term answers there either though. Let’s see what Herrera does the next 2-3 weeks as I expect him to get some time at 2nd base.

  • Cisco Kid | May 14, 2010 | 9:53 am

    Ian & Robb,

    I think we all agree that it’s still to early to stress given the injury situation this team has endured so far. The point I was trying to make is how long can this team carry two members of their lineup hitting in the .220-.230 range? Granted, these two guys give the team their best defensive options, but at the end of the day you have to score in order to win.

  • Steve Foster | May 14, 2010 | 10:08 am

    The current situation isn’t quite the same as last season. While it’s only a two-game difference (through 34 in 2009, the Rockies were 14-20; in 2010 16-18), last season at this time the Rockies were coming off consecutive series losses to the Pirates, Astros and Marlins and hadn’t won a series in three weeks. That situation felt desperate.

    This season feels more frustrating. While they were in a position to win at least one more game against the Phillies and Dodgers in the past week, we’re at least talking about better quality teams. The defense is troubling, no question. We can all look back and count the number of games the Rockies probably would have won in the last week and half with cleaner defense. But this this team hasn’t been healthy from the start of the season and is only now starting to get some key players back.

    It’s too early in the season to worry about being six games back. The San Diego Padres are sitting in first place, and while they’re certainly better than people expected, I don’t anticipate them finishing with a .647 winning percentage any more than I expect the Rockies to finish the season under .500.

    The next 10 games could be really key. The Rockies are getting healthier and playing a slightly more favorable schedule than they’ve had in the past 10.

  • Mike | May 14, 2010 | 10:25 am

    I agree Steve. Look at the schedule. Before the start of this homestand the Rockies had played the second most road games in the NL. They have also played and beat good teams like SD, NY, Philly, Fla. Soon they will get their chance against Pittsburgh, Houston, and Chicago, who are struggling. So given the schedule and injuries, the Rox aren’t doing too badly.

    Having said that, it’s time to step up and defend the home soil. They can’t afford to lose a home series against the Nats. That was a freaky game which should have been called. Given the Rockies’ susceptibility to freak injuries right now, I’m glad we did not have any sprained ankles, broken bones, or drownings last night. Hopefully Ubaldo will be on tonight and quiet those annoying Nat bats.

  • Cisco Kid | May 14, 2010 | 10:49 am

    In looking at the Rockies’ current roster, I realize that the assumption that Herrera may be called up may be wrong. As it currently stands, the team roster consists of 11 pitchers (they normally carry 12). When Francis and Hammel are activated and EYjr is placed on the DL, than Rogers or Smith will have to be sent back to CS. Herrera may be called up, but it may only be for a couple of days until Sunday when Francis is activated.

  • Steve Foster | May 14, 2010 | 10:53 am

    Sounds like Herrera will be called up so the Rockies have an extra infielder while Mora is day-to-day. Two more roster moves will need to be made this weekend: one to make room for Hammel and another to make room for Francis. You can assume that one move will involve a pitcher, the other will involve a position player. Not sure who either will be yet and a lot could depend on Mora’s health.

  • ProgMatinee | May 14, 2010 | 11:01 am

    Too early to give up on Jim Tracy…Bob Apodaca on the other hand… His work with Jimenez has been great, but its probably time to move on to someone that can put the fire under the feet of the bullpen.

    As for Barmes. I don’t think he should be benched quite yet, but I seriously don’t like him in the 8 hole. His mental approach just seems wrong there.

    Maybe trying him either at the 2 hole behind Fowler or at the 7th spot between olivo and stewart…

  • Steve N | May 14, 2010 | 11:32 am

    Even Scott Miller over on CBSSports said he’s keeping his faith in ranking the Rockies so high so far because of the injuries and key players coming back soon and the upcoming schedule against struggling teams. Let’s wait ’till June/July before talk of firing coaches! lol
    Don’t the bullpen #’s still rank high in the big picture of league stats? I admit there’s still room for improvement. :)

  • ProgMatinee | May 14, 2010 | 12:53 pm

    I have a hard time blaming the injuries for this season. sure having DLR or Street would make a difference, but those who haven’t been hurt aren’t playing as they are expected to.

    Of course, that does leave the door open for a tremendous market correction towards the positive.

    20% through the season its unbelievable that we have yet to sweep or have yet to be swept in a series. And I believe we have yet to win 4 games in a row and have yet to lose 4 games in a row.

  • Matt | May 14, 2010 | 2:24 pm

    These next three games will be interesting. Have to love Ubaldo going tonight but I’m nervous about Saturday and Sunday. I hope Hammel pulls his head out and Francis is competitive.

    Too bad about EY. I still think our team was best with him leading off and Cargo in 3 spot. Who knows, maybe herrera will make some noise if given the opportunity.

  • Rich M | May 14, 2010 | 3:41 pm

    ProgMatinee, are you serious about putting Barmes’ .222 average and sub .293 on base percentage in the 2 hole? I hope you are kidding!

    The Rockies lineup is at its best with EY2 leading off, Fowler 2nd and Cargo batting 3rd. But now that’s not even a possibility. Fowler needs to help his team by adapting his game to the leadoff spot, so Cargo can hit third where he will have more opportunities to drive in runs.

    The every day lineup (now there is a concept) is not going to change with regard to 1st base (Helton), shortstop (Tulo), 3rd base (Stewart), catcher (Olivo), right field (Hawpe), and left/center (Cargo). Left/center and second base are the only positions where an opportunity exists to improve the team offense by changing the personnel.

    I expect DanO to wait until June before making any serious moves, but yes I do expect that there will be some player movement at that time. As far as the manager is concerned, J Tracy can can go house hunting – he is not going anywhere any time soon – to even think that DanO would make such a change is just crazy.

    Herrera is basically the same player as Quintinila except he is switch hitter instead of a left handed hitter – both have a little speed and almost no power. He has been released by the Rockies before (2008 I think) and no one else has picked him up – that’s not a real good sign of an impact player

  • Jasper | May 14, 2010 | 3:45 pm

    The problem with bringing Herrera up is that space must be cleared on the 40 man roster to do it resulting in losing someone. Moreover, when it comes time to send him back down, if that happens, he must be put up for assignment if he has no options, and I think that is the case. If so, we stand a good chance of losing him given his performance in ST and with CS. If he is kept on the big club, Mora would probably be the one to be released. The latter is the way I would go in view of Mora’s lack of defense and spotty hitting. Herrera may be, who knows, an answer for us. Better than Quintinella for sure. But is it worth risking losing the guy who leaves the 40 man?

  • ProgMatinee | May 14, 2010 | 3:49 pm

    Rich,

    The problem with Barmes is the situational hitting. How many times is he batting with 2 outs? I think he must be striving to hit the long ball knowing that with 2 outs and the pitcher up next he needs to execute, and thats getting to him. Moving him to the 2 hole will limit those, I believe. With Cargo protecting him, he’ll get better stuff to hit. Last year the spark began when Tracy put Barmes at #2.

  • Robb | May 14, 2010 | 4:15 pm

    I don’t think it matters where Barmes hits. He will hit .240 at best with a couple of hot streaks. But, I don’t think the problem is with Barmes. It is Helton and Tulo combining for 1 HR in mid-May. Where is the power? If it wasn’t for Olivo and CarGo, this could have been real mess by now. Stewart and Hawpe have had their moments. I think Tulo will get untracked soon, but Helton is done as a power hitter. He should be batting 2nd. Not a great baserunner, but will get on base almost 40% of the time. Barmes won’t get on base 30%.

  • Rich M | May 14, 2010 | 4:19 pm

    Nope the problem for Barmes is the low and outside pitch – he can’t hit it and he can’t lay off it either – unfortubnately the entire NL knows this too.

  • Rich M | May 14, 2010 | 4:21 pm

    Thank you Robb – someone else stlll gets it!

  • Cisco Kid | May 14, 2010 | 4:28 pm

    Jasper,

    The Rockies currently only have 39 players on the 40-man roster, so adding Herrera won’t expose anyone. However, when T. Bucholz is ready to come back the team will have to clear space on the roster in order to activate him.

  • Jasper | May 14, 2010 | 5:12 pm

    Thanks Cisco. By the way, do you know the history of the Cisco Kid? My recollection is that he was a creation of O Henry and that he was an unsavory type. However, when Hollywood made him a character they cleaned him up and made him a folk hero. Started in the silent films and continued in the talkies at least into the 50′s. My recollections may not be entirely exact, but Wikepedia will know for sure. A hit song was made in the 80′s, I think, about Cisco – someting like “Cisco – he drink whiskey while Pancho drinks ??? Regards to you.

  • ProgMatinee | May 14, 2010 | 6:26 pm

    I don’t think you need to stick all your fast guys at the top and all your average guys in the middle and all your swing and missers at the bottom. The lineup needs to be evenly distributed so that every inning can provide base runners followed by hitters. Also need to mix the lefts and rights.

    Finally, if Tulo does not start hitting for power soon, then perhaps Hawpe moves up to 4.

    Personally I think Olivo Stewart Barmes Pitcher is a dreadful succession. Each one of them is all or nothing players. It gets even worse when its Iannetta Stewart Barmes Pitcher. If you move Barmes up to the 2 spot, it makes the 6-8 hitters something like Helton Olivo Stewart. What a difference!

    Barmes has to bat somewhere and I think a slight sacrifice at the 2 spot is woryh bolstering every other slot. Plus I believe Barmes improves at the 2 spot anyway.

  • Cisco Kid | May 14, 2010 | 7:29 pm

    Jasper,

    Thanks for the history lesson on the Cisco Kid. My recollection only went as far back as the 60s TV series starring Duncan Renaldo. The group War released the hit song “Cisco Kid” on their 1972 album “The World is a Ghetto”. The line from the song you refer to is- “Cisco Kid was a friend of mine, he drinks whiskey Pancho drink the wine”. Nevertheless, we digress and I’m sure we’re boring the rest of the posters on this thread.

    Anyway back to baseball, I see in another post that the Rocks lost Shane Lindsay to the Yankees. Not sure why they had to expose him since they had an open spot on the roster. Perhaps they didn’t see him as a prospect anymore.

  • Rich M | May 14, 2010 | 8:36 pm

    So how many pitches does Stewart see batting eighth? Likely he gets semi-intentionally walked so the pitcher can get to our pitcher and get out of the inning. Stewart and Olivo have both shown a lot more patience lately, but unless they hit a homer Barmes and our pitcher have left them stranded.

  • GARY | May 14, 2010 | 11:24 pm

    Helton hasn’t had to bunt since little league + no speed-can’t hit 2nd! I,ve been pushing for 7th,or even eight[think of the walks-pitch bunts-turns lineup over.Barmes hits much better second because he will see a lot more fast balls,especially if cargo,spilly,or smith can get on base enough!