Rosario impressing as Rockies' backup catcher

Rosario impressing as Rockies' backup catcher

Rosario impressing as Rockies' backup catcher
SAN FRANCISCO -- Eliezer Alfonzo may be eligible to return to the Rockies after Major League Baseball recently overturned his 100-game suspension, but Colorado already has a contributor at the backup catcher position.

Wilin Rosario, 23, has been on a home run tear of late, as Monday night's moon shot was his fourth homer in his past 22 at-bats. In all, Rosario is batting .236 with five homers and 11 RBIs in 19 games this season.

"I know sometimes when I get my pitch I can hit it far," Rosario said. "Most of the time when I go to the plate to hit, I'm not thinking about hitting a home run. I'm only thinking to take a quality at-bat every time I go up there."

Rosario's solo blast Monday night went deep into the left-field bleachers at AT&T Park, but he said his first homer of the year in Houston on April 8 traveled farther. The Dominican backstop appeared in 16 games as a September callup last year, batting .204 with three home runs and eight RBIs, but he has been a steady presence behind veteran Ramon Hernandez.

Rosario has also been on the receiving end of Christian Friedrich's initial pair of Major League starts, helping guide the young southpaw to a 1.38 ERA through 13 innings of work. There's still much to learn, though, as evidenced by the communication problems between the tandem last night with runners on base.

As Rosario has settled into his regular role, Hernandez has proven to be a valuable source of knowledge and insight.

"We talk every day," Rosario said. "He's played 13 years in the Majors; he knows how to play this game. He also knows what I have to do to get better every day."