If the old saying is true, than Rockies are going to need to figure out a way to keep their starters healthy. Two games into the season and the Rockies have had two pitchers deal with injuries that may result in trips to the disabled list.
On Saturday, the Rockies went back to the clubhouse with a 3-1 win, but they did so watching their starting pitcher leave with a finger injury.
In Friday's opener, Ubaldo Jimenez was shaky. It later came out that he was dealing with a cut on his thumb, perhaps a lingering issue from his infected cuticle that cut back some of his spring work.
On Saturday, it was Jorge De La Rosa's turn. The lefty had been dominating his former club all night when in the sixth inning, Rockies fans saw a sight that no one wants to see in April. Keith Dugger, the Rockies trainer, headed to the mound with Jim Tracy. After looking at De La Rosa's pitching hand for a few minutes, the decision was made to take the newly-signed starter out of the game.
De La Rosa was not showing any indications of struggling. He had given up just three hits through 5-1/3 innings before leaving. He had struck out five Diamondback hitters while walking just one.
The Denver Post's Troy Renck reports that De La Rosa may be suffering from a blister on his middle finger, and that he was removed for precautionary reasons at this point in the season. There is no indication whether or not the lefty will miss his next scheduled start in Pittsburgh.
At this point in the season, the fans focus is on De La Rosa's health. Winning on the field is important, but no one has ever won a division title in April. In the worry, however, fans may be overlooking embattled catcher Chris Iannetta's early success.
Two games is definitely a small sample size, but the catcher has gone 3-for-6 with two of the Rockies biggest hits in the first two games. On top of that, he hung onto the ball while taking a linebacker-type hit from Justin Upton on Friday, and then scoring on a De La Rosa single to right field and forcing D-Backs catcher Miguel Montero to mis-handle a perfect throw from Upton in right field on Saturday night.
Iannetta still has a long way to go to prove to many fans that he is ready to be a dependable member of the everyday lineup, but the early going would suggest that the club's good faith in him may be paying off.
The Rockies won 3-1, but not before Huston Street made the 9th inning a little too close for comfort. The Texas native has shown no signs of being the same pitcher that blew only two saves in 2009. He nibbles at the strike zone, seemingly trying to induce a swing-and-miss, instead of focusing on hitting the bottom half of the zone and allowing his defense to work behind him.
After 32 pitches and a hold-your-breath moment when Russell Branyan hit what would have been a go-ahead home run to the deepest part of the park, Street picked up his first save of the season. The graceful Dexter Fowler made what would have been a difficult running catch for most center fielders look like a routine flyball.
In the end, the Rockies pick up a win, but they may have suffered another setback with a starting pitcher. With an off day on Monday, the club will have an extra day to let the cuts and blisters heal, but that will not bring any peace of mind to fans who are excited to see if the Rockies can contend for their first ever National League West championship.
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