Carasiti joins Rockies for series in Philly

Rookie called up in place of Germen, who was designated for assignment

Carasiti joins Rockies for series in Philly

PHILADELPHIA -- Teammates at Triple-A Albuquerque warned righty relief pitcher Matt Carasiti that it would be smart to have a sport coat, just in case he had to travel like a Major Leaguer.

His fiancée shipped him one a couple days ago -- just in time for the Rockies to select his contract and summon him to Philadelphia on Friday for the start of a three-game series. Carasiti had 31 saves and 48 strikeouts in 46 combined innings at Double-A Hartford (38 games) and Albuquerque (six games).

"It was pretty good timing, but it's still in the box," Carasiti said of the sport coat. "I haven't opened it yet."

Carasiti -- who was threatened with a $100 fine for not having a collar on his shirt when he visited with Albuquerque manager Glenallen Hill, before the skipper spilled the news of the big league callup -- served as closer for both teams this season. Carasiti could find himself in important innings for the Rockies, who struggled in the bullpen while going 4-7 in the days leading to Friday.

Colorado manager Walt Weiss said he will look for low-leverage situations first, to see how Carasiti responds.

"Our young players have come up and responded well, so there's a good track record this year," Weiss said. "Hopefully, it's the same for Matty. He's a tough, hard-nosed kid. He'll be just fine."

The right-hander made his Major League debut on Friday at Citizens Bank Park, throwing two innings and allowing two runs, only one earned. He struck out two, with his first coming against Maikel Franco in the sixth.

To make room for Carasiti, 25, on the active and 40-man rosters, the Rockies designated right-hander Gonzalez Germen (2-1, 5.31 ERA in 40 games) for assignment. The club has 10 days to trade, release or outright Germen to the Minors.

A sixth-round pick out of St. John's in 2012, Carasiti was invited to Major League Spring Training and made three Cactus League appearances (striking out three and not allowing a run in three innings), then made himself an option by improving his strike zone performance (career-high 5.33 strikeouts per walk) and posting a career-low 1.96 ERA.

Carasiti has made steady improvement since converting to relief after a tough year at Class A Asheville, when he made 30 starts and yielded 136 hits in 93 innings.

"I was erratic before," said Carasiti, who throws a two-seam fastball, a cutter, and a put-away changeup. "I wasn't all over the plate, but I was walking more guys than I wanted to. This year I really focused in on it. Throwing late in the game, you can't afford to walk people, so I was trying to be in the strike zone no matter what. When I get a chance to put a guy away, I've been doing it this year, instead of wasting pitches."

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.