Bergman adjusting well to multiple roles
Righty made 10 starts last season but feels accepted by Rockies' bullpen
DENVER -- Rockies righty Christian Bergman still plays catch with starters Kyle Kendrick and Tyler Matzek, but he also feels accepted by the bullpen society.
"If I haven't, they're hiding it pretty well," said Bergman, who is getting used to being the pitcher with many roles.
Bergman, who made 10 starts last season, hasn't pitched much, but he is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in his three games covering 7 2/3 innings. One was a four-inning start against the Giants. His last appearance was 2 2/3 innings Sunday against the Dodgers. The game had gotten out of hand, but there was no further scoring against Bergman.
Had the Rockies not pulled out a 5-4 victory in the bottom of the ninth Wednesday night, Bergman would have pitched the 10th. Bergman said he has found a way to warm up quickly, which is the key to being available in more roles.
"If I have time, it's good, but if I have to get hot quick, like I did in L.A., I'm fine," Bergman said. "It took between 10 and 15 throws to get ready, which is very different from being a starter, where you do your stretch, do your long toss, get on the arm. But I've adapted very well."
• Rockies reliever LaTroy Hawkins (1-1, 10.50 ERA, 1 save) went on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with biceps tendinitis. But the good news is his arm is otherwise uncommonly healthy -- which is how it has to be to pitch at age 42.
"The doctor looked at the MRI and said it looked as if I'd never thrown a pitch before," said Hawkins, who has said this is his final season.
Before this one, Hawkins' last DL placement came in 2012 with the Angels, when he suffered a broken knuckle on his throwing hand when hit by an Omar Vizquel line drive.
• The Rockies' Daniel Descalso usually plays third base, shortstop and second base, but he found himself at first base Thursday. It was his 11th career appearance and fourth start at the position, which begged the question: Does he have a first baseman's mitt?
It turns out his is handed down from another infielder who made rare appearances at first -- Mark Ellis, who retired this spring after 12 seasons, including part of 2011 with the Rockies. Ellis gave Descalso his mitt after last season with the Cardinals, where they were teammates. Ellis played eight career games at first, including three starts, so the glove is pristine.
"I'll find someone to give this glove to someday," Descalso said with a smile.
Manager Walt Weiss had planned to give Justin Morneau a day off, and he didn't back off even though the Rockies optioned the backup first baseman, Wilin Rosario, to Albuquerque on Wednesday.
• Carlos Gonzalez, whose .179 batting average going into Thursday included a 1-for-21 slump, finally rested Wednesday, a few days later than Weiss wanted. Corey Dickerson suffering a plantar fasciitis flare-up in his left foot Monday and missing Tuesday's game delayed Gonzalez's off-day. Gonzalez batted sixth Wednesday, instead of one of his usual heart-of-the-order spots, and went hitless.
• Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who has a an extensive injury history, made a diving play and hustled out a double on Wednesday. And none of that caused Weiss to hold his breath.
"Even last night when he legged out the double … in the past I would watch to see how he got up, but I don't find myself doing that lately," Weiss said. "I'm getting used to seeing him run around like his old self."