Rockies send down Butler; Miller goes on DL

Rockies send down Butler; Miller goes on DL

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rockies optioned right-handed pitcher Eddie Butler to Triple-A Albuquerque to continue his elusive quest for consistency and placed right-hander Justin Miller on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, manager Walt Weiss said Tuesday.

The moves were to make room for the additions of right-handed pitcher Tyler Chatwood, who allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings Tuesday night against the Giants, and righty reliever Adam Ottavino, who is back on the roster after missing 14 months because of Tommy John right elbow surgery. Ottavino entered in the eighth inning and got Buster Posey, the only batter he faced, to ground out.

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Butler is 2-5 with a 6.96 ERA in 12 games, including nine starts. The Rockies have had internal discussions about converting him to relief work, but Weiss said he will start at Albuquerque yet still be in play when long-relief openings occur. A sinker-slider pitcher, Butler has looked impressive on some occasions, but his penchant for missing up and in the middle of the plate has led to some difficult appearances.

"Just continue working on some of the things he's been working on -- get to a higher level of consistency," Weiss said.

Miller (1-1, 5.35 ERA in 31 appearances), who is out of options and can't be sent to the Minors without being exposed to waivers, has been pitching through pain, Weiss said

"He's got a tight oblique; he had a tough outing last time out, threw almost 50 pitches last time out against the Dodgers," Weiss said. "He's had a pretty heavy workload. We knew it was tight after that outing. We wanted to see if it was something he could work through, but the smart thing to do is to put him on the DL and letting it calm down."

• Righty long reliever and spot-starter Christian Bergman, who hasn't pitched for the club since suffering a left oblique strain May 19, threw 56 pitches in four scoreless, four-hit, three-strikeout innings in his third injury rehab appearance for Albuquerque on Tuesday. The club will soon evaluate him for a return.

• Lefty Chris Rusin, who hasn't appeared since June 8 because of left shoulder inflammation, threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Tuesday. He had thrown 20 pitches Saturday.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.