SAN FRANCISCO -- Now general manager Jeff Bridich is calling for consistency from his Rockies, which beats his earlier challenge.
During an 11-game losing streak in late April and early May, Bridich called for the players to show "resolve." The Rockies pulled to three below .500 on June 9. But a 1-9 stretch against the Marlins and Astros has pushed them to eight under going into Friday night against the Giants. Somehow, though, they entered Friday just eight games behind the National League West-leading Dodgers.
Because the Rockies entered Friday as close in their division as the Pirates, at eight above .500, were in the NL Central, Bridich isn't necessarily thinking of assessments such as whether the Rockies have a chance to contend. The earlier good stretch was due mainly to a strong run of pitching. Now the Rockies are leading the NL in runs, powered by Nolan Arenado (12-game hit streak, four homers in the last four games), Troy Tulowitzki and Charlie Blackmon (nine-game streaks apiece). But pitching has returned to being an issue.
"We're still in search of stringing together more complete games," Bridich said. "We have shown over the last week we can play more complete games, but it's a matter of doing it more often. We haven't been able to string together two or three weeks of consistent, all-around production. But it's not resolve.
"The division is still within reach and the Wild Card is within reach. But that's on us; if we start focusing on those, we're going to lose sight of what we have to do on a daily basis. Those concerns are secondary from playing consistent, day-to-day baseball."
• Rockies No. 1 prospect Jon Gray, a righty No. 1 Draft pick in 2013, is 3-2 with a 2.74 ERA in his last 10 games at Triple-A Albuquerque. But Bridich said Gray is still developing, and there isn't a timeline to his callup.
"If and when, we'll know," Bridich said. "There's a lot. There's pitches. There's how he attacks opponents. There's consistency of work. There are a lot of detailed things that add up to development. He's had a nice string of two, three weeks that have been a big step in the right direction."
With righty Eddie Butler, who was thrown into the rotation early but has been sent to Albuquerque where he is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in three starts, Bridich said, "One of the primary things he went down to work on was his breaking ball, being able to throw it for strikes, throw it correctly and land it better than up here. It's not going to happen overnight."
• Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez swung the bat aggressively during practice sessions the last two days and doesn't expect to be slowed by a left hand sprain that had kept him from hitting since Sunday. "I've been in worse situations, so I don't think this is going to bother me anymore." Gonzalez blooped a single in the second inning Friday.
• Lefty Jorge De La Rosa left two batters into the sixth inning of Thursday's 6-4 victory over the D-backs with a recurring left middle finger cut, but he said Friday he expects to make his next start.
• Righty reliever Rafael Betancourt returned to the active roster Friday, after being put on the disabled list June 8 because he was weakened by a severe sinus infection. Righty reliever Justin Miller was optioned to Albuquerque.