PHILADELPHIA -- Two days after going to a four-man starting rotation, Rockies manager Jim Tracy could not give an opinion on how it was working thus far."I don't have any barometer on it right now because what we've seen the first two days is real similar to what I've been dealing with an awful lot this season," Tracy said before Thursday's series finale against the Phillies. Tracy implemented the four-man rotation before the series opener on Tuesday when he moved the struggling Jeremy Guthrie to the bullpen. With one less day of rest, each starter is being held to roughly 75 pitches per outing. The Rockies' starting rotation owns a Major League worst 6.37 ERA and is one of just two clubs whose starters allow more than five runs per game. Left-hander Josh Outman pitched on Tuesday, the first day of the new format, and was pulled after 72 pitches. He allowed four runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 7-2 loss. On Wednesday, Alex White threw exactly 75 pitches in just 3 2/3 innings in which he allowed five runs on five hits in a 7-6 defeat. "There were situations two nights ago that suggested that [Outman] should come out of the game and [White] last night had thrown 75 pitches in 3 2/3 innings," Tracy said. "Maybe with a couple different situations where [White] threw consecutive strikes, other than that, there wasn't another situation where he threw two strikes in a row. And that's part of the idea of understanding the importance of making pitches and commanding the strike zone and pitching ahead in the count." Jeff Francis took the mound on Thursday.
Ailing CarGo nearing 100 percent
PHILADELPHIA -- Carlos Gonzalez, whose strained left knee caused him to miss two games before he returned to the lineup on Wednesday, said he is feeling better. He continues to get treatment and hopes to be 100 percent in the next couple of days.Gonzalez played left field and batted third for the second consecutive game on Thursday. "I feel pretty good, good enough to play," he said before Thursday's series finale against the Phillies. "I can run well. I feel a little pain when I have to stop, but other than that it's been good." Gonzalez, who went 2-for-4 on Wednesday, leads Colorado in batting average (.337), home runs (17), RBIs (51), runs scored (51) and stolen bases (10).
Herrera could return very soon
PHILADELPHIA -- Rockies infielder Jonathan Herrera went 1-for-5 with a home run and played nine innings at shortstop in a rehab game with Double-A Tulsa on Wednesday. Herrera, who has been on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain since May 23, could return very soon.Rockies manager Jim Tracy said before Thursday's series finale against the Phillies that a decision on Herrera will be made in the next day or so. Asked how Herrera performed in the field on Wednesday -- he was the designated hitter in a rehab game on Tuesday -- Tracy said he played fine. "I wasn't expecting anything other than him playing fine defensively because he does a pretty good job of playing fine defensively wherever you put him on the field," Tracy said. "That's part of his DNA."
Tracy said starter Jorge De La Rosa had a positive followup appointment with Dr. Lewis Yocum on Wednesday in Los Angeles. De La Rosa, who had Tommy John surgery last season, will continue to do strengthening exercises."Once he gets beyond that point, he'll begin tossing the ball around again," Tracy said. "So that's also one that was very refreshing to hear."
Ramon Hernandez's strained left hand is improving, Tracy said, but added, "I haven't heard any type of discussion that suggests that he's closer to going out or he's closer to getting involved in some significant baseball activity."
Hernandez went on the disabled list on May 25. On Friday, the Rockies will face Roy Oswalt, who will make his first start since signing with the Rangers on May 29. Oswalt, a three-time All-Star, spent last season with Philadelphia. "We're just gonna see how's he pitching," Gonzalez said. "I faced him like two years ago, back in the day when he was with Houston. He's a pretty smart pitcher who's got really good stuff. We just need to see what he's got and just be patient and see what he's gonna [pitch] to us."
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.