Rockies go with shorter 'pen after sending down Oberg
Long man Bergman makes Weiss comfortable with seven relievers
By Jack Etkin
Special to MLB.com |
DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies began a seven-game homestand Monday with seven relievers in their bullpen, down one after Scott Oberg was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque to make room on the roster for Jorge De La Rosa.
De La Rosa began the season on the disabled list with a left groin strain, and after making two rehab starts, he was activated to start Monday vs. the Padres. He allowed nine runs (seven earned) in two innings.
Before Monday's game, manager Walt Weiss said the Rockies will "bounce back and forth between seven and eight [relievers] all year. We'll kind of play it by ear, see where we're at. Our bullpen, at least for tonight, is in pretty good shape, thanks to Christian Bergman. He did a great job saving our 'pen yesterday."
Bergman pitched the final 2 2/3 innings Sunday at Los Angeles in a 7-0 loss to the Dodgers. He threw 41 pitches, making him unavailable Monday night. However, closer Adam Ottavino and Boone Logan entered Monday well rested after not pitching the past four days, giving Weiss plenty of options with his relief corps. Christian Friedrich took over for De La Rosa in the third inning, and the Rockies ended up using every reliever except Bergman in a 14-3 loss to the Padres.
The Rockies typically carry eight relievers at Coors Field, which puts more of a strain on pitchers, and seven on the road. Weiss said he's comfortable with a seven-man bullpen at home as long as he has a long man. Bergman can fill that role. He has extensive experience as a starter in the Minors and made 10 starts for the Rockies last year and one this year.
Oberg, ranked as the Rockies' No. 24 prospect by MLB.com, pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in his first two Major League appearances before giving up four hits, including three homers, and a walk, retiring one of the six Los Angeles batters he faced.
"I thought he did a real nice job up here," Weiss said Monday. "Had a tough day yesterday, but that day doesn't define him. I think he learned that he's got plenty of stuff to pitch in this league. We've always loved the makeup and the competitiveness. He's going to help us win a lot of games, I think, this year.
"I told him not every breaking ball you hang is going to be hit in the seats. Sometimes they're going to foul them off. Sometimes they're going to take them. He just didn't get away with them yesterday. But I'm excited about him."
Jack Etkin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.