DENVER -- Injured Rockies pitcher Esmil Rogers' throwing session turned ominous on Tuesday afternoon when he experienced unexpected pain in his right shoulder at 120 feet. As a result, Rogers said he suspects there is rotator cuff damage and hoped to undergo an MRI on Tuesday night.Rogers (3-1, 7.66 ERA in five games, four starts) is on the 15-day disabled list with what the Rockies called a lat strain. The injury occurred during a rough relief appearance on May 1 against the Pirates. Rogers thought it would heal quickly, but pain returned during a recent bullpen session. Now, Rogers is looking at the possibility of a more extensive injury. "This is the first time my arm has hurt," Rogers said. "I don't like it." Rogers was fine at 60 and 90 feet while playing catch with Rockies assistant athletic trainer Scott Gehret, but the pain began almost immediately when he stepped to 120 feet. Rogers moved to a shorter distance and completed the throwing session. As a result, right-hander Clayton Mortensen, who has made two strong appearances against the Giants in two different callups from Triple-A Colorado Springs, is scheduled for two starts.
Fowler exits after fouling ball off knee
DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler fouled a pitch off his left knee and had to leave Tuesday night's game against the Mets in the bottom of the seventh inning.The pitch Fowler fouled, from Mets right-handed reliever Jason Isringhausen, was the first one after a 50-minute rain delay. The Rockies trailed, 4-3, when play resumed with a 2-and-2 count to Fowler. Ryan Spilborghs replaced Fowler and drew a walk. Fowler said he believes he suffered a bruise on a tendon near the knee and should be day-to-day, but he will be evaluated by the Rockies' staff Wednesday morning. Going into Tuesday, Fowler was second in the National League with 23 walks. Although he entered the game with a healthy.382 on-base percentage, he also came in leading the National League in strikeouts. Tuesday's pair, on an 0-for-3 night, raised his total to 43.
Lopez eager for another shot
DENVER -- Rockies infielder Jose Lopez is working and waiting for another turn.Lopez's .148 batting average in 24 games, including 21 starts, opened the door for manager Jim Tracy to give Ian Stewart a chance to regain his footing after a trip to the Minors. That hasn't worked out, either. Stewart carried a .068 batting average into Tuesday night's game against the Mets at Coors Field. Additionally, Lopez is not getting many opportunities to play second base, where he started on Opening Day, because Jonathan Herrera has hit .289 with a .395 on-base percentage from the No. 2 spot in the Rockies' order. Lopez, who spent the previous seven seasons with the Mariners before joining the Rockies in a trade this past winter, said the bench is an unfamiliar position for him, but he understands the situation. "It's hard for me -- this is the first time in probably the last six years," Lopez said. "They're giving a chance to Stewart. They're giving a chance to Jonathan. We're in first place, and that's the important thing. When they put my name in the lineup, I try to do my best. I try to do whatever, move a runner, whatever the team needs." Lopez hit safely in six of his first nine games. For a period in late April, he was the hard-luck player in the lineup, repeatedly stinging balls but not having them fall for hits. But his production never picked up, so Stewart has been the regular third baseman since being called up a week ago. Lopez said he is hitting off a tee just before batting practice, then trying to carry a swing into BP that allows him to use the middle of the field. He said when he has another chance to play, some luck would help. "The first point is I feel good," Lopez said. "The second point is I feel bad. I feel good when I hit the ball good, but I feel bad when they catch the ball. I swing the bat hard, hit the ball hard. If it doesn't' fall it's not my fault. There are nine people to catch the ball. " Lopez laughed and said, "I need some bloopers." The next chance for Lopez will be Wednesday afternoon against Mets lefty starter Jonathon Niese. Lopez went 0-for-3 against Niese in the Rockies' 5-4 victory over the Mets on April 13, but Tracy saw that as a better matchup than against the starter on Tuesday night, Mike Pelfrey. Lopez is not the only struggling Rockies player Tracy plans to start against Niese. Outfielder Ryan Spilborghs (.157, 2 HR, 7 RBIs) homered against Niese in the April 13 game, and is 4-for-12 with two homers and four RBIs in his career against him.
Rockies not worried about power drought
DENVER -- The home run has long been a focal point of the arsenal for the Rockies, but the team has reason not to fret the fact that its power numbers aren't yet among the league leaders.The Rockies entered Tuesday's game against the Mets in a five-way tie for seventh in the National League with 28 home runs. They finished fourth in the league last year with 173 homers, but they produced middle-of-the-pack returns in April and May. "The weather plays a big part," said Troy Tulowitzki, who leads the team with eight home runs. Before this week's series, games at Coors Field this season regularly featured temperatures in the 40s with occasional snowfall -- not prime conditions for sending balls into the stands. The Rockies' stagnant offense -- 14th in the NL in hitting (.232) and ninth in runs scored (141) -- has coincided with the middling home run numbers. "We're not hitting the way we hit last year, but there's still a lot of games left and we all know we're going to get better," said Carlos Gonzalez, who has two home runs -- both away from Coors Field -- after hitting 34 in 2010. "The other teams need to be careful, because when we get going, it's going to be hard to stop us."
Mortensen gives nod to Apodaca
DENVER -- Rockies right-handed pitcher Clayton Mortensen readily credits pitching coach Bob Apodaca for his early success.Mortensen, who will start May 17's finale of a two-game series against the Giants, has given up one run in 14 innings in his two appearances with the Rockies. Both were against the Giants. One was a start. During Spring Training, Apodaca told Mortensen that keeping his head and body moving toward home plate, rather than tilting to the side, would help his sinker, his main pitch. Mortensen went 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs, but has been called up twice and has pitched well each time. He held the Giants scoreless for six relief innings on April 18, and gave up two runs, one earned, in six innings in a start against the Giants on May 7. He received a no-decision in the Rockies' 3-2 loss. "I put a lot of trust in 'Dac' [Apoadaca]," Mortensen said. "He knows what he's doing, and he wouldn't be here if he didn't. When you get to see the results coming in, and they're good, it just kind of reassures you. "You're definitely going to have bumps in the road. You've just got to stick to it and keep working on it. You can't be perfect, but you can be as close to it as you possibly can." Mortensen will be available to pitch out of the bullpen for a couple of days this week, then will face the Giants, who are becoming a familiar opponent. "I've had some success against them," Mortensen said. "It's nice. You get to see their lineup, but they also get to see you, so you just have to be that much more precise with your pitches."
Rockies right-hander Aaron Cook threw 35 pitches during an extended spring training game in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Tuesday as he continues to rehab from a broken finger."From what I was just told by [athletic trainer Keith Dugger], he had a very, very good day today," manager Jim Tracy said. "He threw the ball extremely well. He was pretty much sitting around 88 miles per hour with good sink." The next step for Cook will be a rehab assignment at Double-A Tulsa. He'll finish his rehab with a start at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Cook is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on May 30.
Infielder Ty Wigginton, on the 15-day DL with a strained oblique, is scheduled to make rehab appearances in Colorado Springs on Wednesday and Thursday. Tracy announced his rotation through the team's series in Milwaukee that ends May 22. This weekend's starters against the Padres will be Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Jason Hammel. Ubaldo Jimenez and Clayton Mortensen will pitch against the Giants, De La Rosa and Chacin will pitch at Philadelphia, and Hammel, Jimenez and Mortensen will face the Brewers.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Nick Kosmider is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.