Rogers likely to miss one or two rehab starts
Starter's appearance Tuesday cut short because of pain in side
DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Esmil Rogers has halted his injury rehab stint at Triple-A Colorado Springs because of pain in his side. He is expected to miss one or two starts.
Rogers lasted just 3 2/3 innings, gave up two home runs and lost to Las Vegas on Tuesday night in what was potentially his last start on a rehab assignment for a right lat strain. Rogers, who hasn't pitched in the Majors since May 1, returned to Coors Field on Wednesday for an examination. He felt the cautious approach was correct.
"I don't want to push myself more than I am right now, so I'm going to get treatment and everything is going to be OK," Rogers said.
Center fielder Dexter Fowler went 0-for-4 for Colorado Springs in his first game of a rehab assignment for a left abdominal strain. Fowler struggled offensively before the injury, so the time in Triple-A could be longer than a normal rehab assignment.
Iannetta producing at fine clip from eight-spot
DENVER -- Chris Iannetta entered Wednesday tied with the Braves' Brian McCann for the National League lead among catchers with nine home runs, led the league's backstops in on-base percentage at .390 and ranked second to McCann in OPS.
The difference between Iannetta and McCann, as well as the D-backs' Miguel Montero and the Cardinals' Yadier Molina, who also rank high among NL catchers in offensive production, is that Iannetta bats eighth in the Rockies' order. McCann bats cleanup, and Motero and Molina often fall in the fifth, sixth and seventh spots.
With Iannetta hitting eighth, opposing pitchers often avoid the meat of the plate, believing if they walk him or limit the damage, they can easily move on to face the Rockies' pitcher.
Yet Iannetta's 18 extra-base hits have him in a tie for fourth among NL catchers, with Montero (27), McCann (22) and Molina (20) ahead of him. His 28 RBIs rank third, behind McCann's 36 and Montero's 34.
"One thing I've been pretty consistent with since I've been in the big leagues is home runs and RBIs and trying to take advantage of opportunities," Iannetta said. "You don't get a ton of opportunities, but if you get a home run, that's one RBI, and if you get a couple guys on base it adds to it. You try to make the most of it when they actually pitch to you."
Iannetta hasn't reached stardom, and at times has had his starting spot threatened because he hasn't consistently hit for average. He is at .234 this season, but the Rockies see the value in his on-base performance and the way he handles the pitching staff.
"In all honesty, I'm just happy I'm in the lineup," he said. "The way my career has gone, I've had some ups and downs. I'm glad that I'm playing.
"That's all I focus on. If I play well and they want to move me up somewhere in the lineup, that's fine. If they want me to keep doing what I'm doing, I know I can take quality at-bats there, no matter how I feel. I can feel terrible but still draw walks, be patient and turn the lineup over, regardless."
Brothers ponders more productive at-bat
DENVER -- Many observers wondered if Rockies left-handed reliever Rex Brothers should have been batting with two out and the bases loaded in the seventh inning of Tuesday night's 6-3 victory over the Padres.
Brothers, however, said it wouldn't have been an issue had his at-bat been more competitive.
Padres right-hander Ernesto Frieri struck him out on three pitches, without Brothers lifting the bat once.
Brothers, 23, was drafted as a relief pitcher in 2009, so his work at the plate as a pro consisted of a couple of opportunities this year at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Those at-bats came in preparation for what manager Jim Tracy had him do Tuesday night -- strike out left-handed hitting Anthony Rizzo to end the top of the seventh, then pitch the eighth.
Tracy answered the criticism for sending Brothers to bat, rather than sending up a hitter such as Seth Smith in an attempt to lengthen the lead, by saying he preserved his key bullpen members and showed confidence in Brothers. Also, he said there was no guarantee someone else would have blown open the game.
But Brothers said he should have been ready to do that. He said bench coach Tom Runnells gave him fair warning.
"There's no explanation for not swinging right there," said Brothers, who entered Wednesday with a 3.60 ERA in five relief appearances since being promoted from Colorado Springs. "The bat was just stuck to my shoulder, for some reason. Believe me, I've heard about it.
"'T.R.' said, 'You know you're in, right?' I said, 'Yeah, I know I'm in.' Then after Chris Iannetta batted, they looked at me and said, 'You're up!' I said, 'What?' I was so locked into pitching that I didn't think about hitting, so it surprised me. That was my fault. I wish I could have at least swung. There's always next time."
Brothers pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up only a Cameron Maybin double.
"It was a good experience, coming out with a clean inning," Brothers said. "Hopefully down the road, I can keep getting those outs in those situations."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.