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Manship eager to take hill on full night's rest

DENVER -- Right-handed pitcher Jeff Manship proved Thursday afternoon that he could perform well after a red-eye flight. Chances are, he will get a chance to show what he can do with proper rest.

On Thursday, Manship, 28, was summoned from Triple-A Colorado Springs to New York, where he was to start a noon game against the Mets because of Tyler Chatwood's elbow injury. Manship arrived in the Big Apple at 5 a.m. for a noon start, and he held the Mets to two runs in five innings, with four strikeouts against three walks and four hits. He took the decision in the 2-1 loss.

Chatwood's next turn would be Tuesday against the Cardinals, but he is on the 15-day disabled list. Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Saturday the staff had not yet discussed whether Manship would start Tuesday but that he left a positive impression.

"Jeff did a great job, especially under the conditions -- flying a red eye all night; pitching a noon game -- and I thought he performed real well," Weiss said. "It was a gutsy performance."

Manship appeared in 41 games, including six starts, with the Twins from 2009-12 (3-2, 6.20 ERA), but he has been a starter for most of his Minor League career. This year at Colorado Springs, he started 17 of his 24 appearances and battled to 6-8 with a 4.85 ERA, 71 strikeouts and 32 walks.

To adjust to the extreme altitude at Colorado Springs and other Pacific Coast League sites, Manship adjusted the grip on his sinker.

"I was keeping the ball down better, and my sinker was actually sinking," he said. "I ended up altering my pitch. I've always thrown this pitch, but not that much, but it's kind of just a one-seamer instead of a two-seamer."

Manship also said he was able to conquer mental hurdles in part because of his time in Colorado Springs, where worrying about pitching stats is futile because of the frequent nights when the ball flies and wind plays havoc.

"Having [manager] Glenallen Hill down there is a big," Manship said. "He definitely believes the mental part of the game is huge. When you're calm out there, you're not flustered with what's going on around; you can slow the game down. Up here, the game tends to get quick, and that's a big problem."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.
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