Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Off-days could help 2 starters return to rotation

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

PHOENIX -- The two off-days that occur early in the Rockies' post-All-Star break schedule could help manager Bud Black reintroduce two starters to the rotation.

Righty German Marquez (8-8, 5.00 ERA) was place on paternity leave Sunday to return to his native Venezuela. Also, righty Chad Bettis (5-1, 5.10), who hasn't pitched since sustaining a blister on his right index finger, threw an injury rehab game Saturday, but left after four innings and 70 pitches because the finger began bothering him.

View Full Game Coverage

PHOENIX -- The two off-days that occur early in the Rockies' post-All-Star break schedule could help manager Bud Black reintroduce two starters to the rotation.

Righty German Marquez (8-8, 5.00 ERA) was place on paternity leave Sunday to return to his native Venezuela. Also, righty Chad Bettis (5-1, 5.10), who hasn't pitched since sustaining a blister on his right index finger, threw an injury rehab game Saturday, but left after four innings and 70 pitches because the finger began bothering him.

View Full Game Coverage

But with off-days on Monday and Thursday, the Rockies potentially don't need a fifth starter until July 31 at St. Louis -- as long as the current pitchers stay healthy.

Pitching for Triple-A Albuquerque against Fresno on Saturday, Bettis gave up two runs (on a homer) and five hits, plus had four strikeouts and no walks.

"The finger bothered him a little bit as the outing went on, so we're going to continue to monitor his finger and where we are, but there's no timetable on any next start," Black said. "And German is on paternity down in Venezuela, so there are logistics on him getting down, when he returns and where we slide him back in."

Right-hander Antonio Senzatela returned Sunday from a blister on his middle finger that prevented him from making his final start before the All-Star break.

On the ball
The Rockies are the latest team that have lost pitchers due to blister problems. Black, a former Major League pitcher, said the seams of the baseball feel different.

"We're talking about it a lot -- the trainers, the coaches, the players," Black said. "It seems to be there's a little bit of a difference. What I feel, the seams are a little bit higher, a little bit different."

Black also said the higher seams theoretically help with breaking balls because they give "a little more traction."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Chad Bettis, German Marquez