Weiss: Betancourt's struggles due to fatigue
DENVER -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss said fatigue from illness is the explanation for righty reliever Rafael Betancourt's struggles. Weiss also said he talked to Betancourt about some disturbing displays of frustration during his outing Saturday.
Betancourt, pitching for the first time since blowing a save Tuesday against the Dodgers on Alex Guerrero's grand slam, gave up three runs on five hits in the ninth inning of Saturday's 10-5 victory over the Marlins.
Betancourt faced two hitters and gave up a home run and a walk before being removed from a game in Philadelphia on May 30. The Rockies announced Betancourt was dealing with a sinus infection. Saturday's struggles lifted his season ERA to 6.30.
"It's more his strength than anything else -- he's been weak, he hasn't recovered from whatever he had a week ago," Weiss said. "But his arm feels great."
At 40, Betancourt made a remarkable recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2013 to make the squad this year. The Rockies like his veteran presence, but he didn't display it Saturday. He stormed around the mound, becoming more frustrated with each hit he yielded. At game's end, he despairingly hurled the baseball from the first-base area into the right-field corner, and tossed his glove into the stands.
"We had a good conversation," Weiss said. "Raffy will be fine. I don't worry about him.
"We talk about body language a lot. That's how you speak on the field. We always have a heightened sense of awareness for what we say with how we act."
• Regular left fielder Corey Dickerson, coming back from plantar fasciitis in his left foot, will begin playing extended spring training games on Monday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz. In the controlled environment, Dickerson can take as many at-bats as he needs in each game. Once he is comfortable, the Rockies are likely to activate him without ordering a Minor League rehab assignment.
• Before the top of the seventh, Coors Field showed American Pharoah's Triple Crown-winning run at the Belmont Stakes on the scoreboard. It just so happened the race was occurring before Rockies lefty pitcher Chris Rusin warmed up for the seventh inning.
By no means was it a disruption. Rusin played collegiately at Kentucky, in horse-racing country.
"I was rooting him on," a smiling Rusin said.
Rusin struck out eight and held the Marlins to two runs in seven innings.
The question is whether Rusin earned more starts. Saturday's start opened up for him because the Rockies wanted to give other pitchers extra rest. The same will be the case Monday, when the Rockies call up righty David Hale from Albuquerque.
Rusin has made his case, with a 1.45 ERA in three games, two starts. But Weiss wasn't ready to make a pronouncement.
"We've got some moving parts -- obviously an extra starter right now, so there are some things we need to work out," Weiss said. "He's certainly made a strong case."