Neshek eager to face former club this weekend

Newly acquired reliever has struggled so far with Rockies

Neshek eager to face former club this weekend

DENVER -- Pat Neshek had this weekend's Rockies-Phillies series circled since at least a month ago, but under different circumstances.

Acquired by Colorado from Philadelphia on July 26, the submarine right-hander envisioned a taxing weekend against what he said was among the most formidable lineups he'd faced this year. Neshek, the Phillies' only All-Star, tossed two scoreless innings and gave up just two hits against Colorado at Citizens Bank Park on May 22 and 25.

"I know earlier in the year, when we played [the Rockies], I thought it was the best offenses we played," Neshek said.

Filling a right-handed void for the Rockies, Neshek has made four appearances for Colorado already, with inflated results due to poor pitch selection. He surrendered a homer to Ryan Zimmerman in Washington on Sunday, and blew two saves against the Mets this week in Denver, though both games ended with Colorado wins.

The Rockies liked Neshek's veteran presence and experience pitching in five postseason series, and believe Neshek can counter their hitter-friendly park with his unique deception. Unlike most, Neshek's mechanics generate power through his upper body, with an explosive whip manifested from multiple arm slots.

"Anybody that does anything that's not traditional adds deception, and it changes the hitter's view," Rockies pitching coach Steve Foster said. "And without having a live-feed virtual reality, it's tough to mimic what he does. He's the only one that does it the way that he does it. That makes it unique."

The Rockies like their tandem of distinctive deliveries to thwart opposing lineups in the eighth and ninth innings, with Neshek slated to be the primary setup man for Greg Holland, whose left-tumbling follow-through has fooled hitters to a National League best 33 saves.

Bettis to make at least one more start at Triple-A

Chad Bettis threw a season-high 84 pitches and 5 2/3 innings on Thursday in his fifth rehab start, as he continues to work his way back from his bout with testicular cancer. Rockies manager Bud Black said Bettis had elevated fastball velocity, and will make at least one more start with Triple-A Albuquerque. Per MLB regulations, a pitcher's rehab can not go beyond 30 days; Bettis will reach that on Aug. 12.

"I think Chad would tell you he'd like to be a little more consistent on the secondaries, but all in all, it was another progression for him," Black said. "He's making his starts, he's making his side sessions. He's going to pitch again in five or six days, I'm not sure what date exactly he'll pitch, but he'll make another turn for the Isotopes."

Garneau claimed by Oakland

Catcher Dustin Garneau was claimed off waivers by Oakland on Friday, the A's announced. Garneau broke camp with the Rockies in place of Tom Murphy, who suffered a broken hand in Spring Training, and was optioned to Albuquerque on May 16 when Tony Wolters returned from a concussion. From there, Colorado complemented Wolters and Ryan Hanigan, who was signed to a Minor League deal on April 2.

In 206 at-bats over 68 big league games since 2015, Garneau slashed .199/.259/.335 with four homers, 16 doubles, 20 RBIs, 60 strikeouts and 16 walks.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.