DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio said he was pleased with his work Tuesday -- 30 pitches against live hitters. It was his biggest test since he suffered a strained left knee on June 2 during a game against the Dodgers.Nicasio (2-3, 5.28 ERA) said he didn't stop throwing even when the pain in his knee kept him out of other activities, so his arm is in good shape. During the session, Nicasio, 25, threw all of his pitches to both sides of the plate. Before the injury, Nicasio, whose fastball is ahead of his other pitches, worked himself into trouble by overthrowing the fastball. He is working on being closer to a complete pitcher when he returns. "My knee is feeling good now," Nicasio said. "I'm working every day, and now my breaking ball is pretty good." Nicasio said his next session is Saturday, although he is not sure if it's a simulated game.
Cabrera to make debut on Wednesday
DENVER -- Left-hander Edwar Cabrera, who has struck out 82 batters in 98 innings at Double-A Tulsa, will start for the Rockies on Wednesday night against the Nationals, Rockies manager Jim Tracy announced Tuesday night.Cabrera led the Minor Leagues with 174 strikeouts last season at two Class A stops, Asheville and Modesto. Cabrera was 8-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 15 starts for Tulsa, good enough to earn an invitation to the Sirius XM Futures Game during All-Star Weekend.
However, the future could be now for Cabrera, who could be given some time to prove himself.Cabrera said Tulsa manager Duane Espy surprised him Monday night with the news that he was headed to Denver. "Espy said, 'I want to tell you something; you're going somewhere,'" Cabrera said. "He didn't tell me where. Ten minutes later he told me, 'Congratulations, you're going to the big leagues.'" Tracy also announced that lefty Josh Outman -- who threw 96 pitches Saturday night and is working in a four-man rotation -- had his next start moved from Wednesday to Thursday. Tracy is intrigued by Cabrera. "Just take a look at what he's done so far," Tracy said. "He's a strike-thrower. This is another young kid that's going to pitch in the big leagues for the first time. You've got to give him an opportunity not only to get his feet wet, but get a chance to settle in at this level and see what it's all about. "He's coming from Tulsa, and I believe at this time last year he was an Asheville Tourist. That's a lot of progress in a very short period of time, but this is a much different league than the South Atlantic League or the Texas League. We'll give him an opportunity to see how he handles it." Cabrera, 24, has baffled Minor League hitters with a four-seam circle changeup that he can throw into the strike zone or have dive out of the zone in the hitting area. He can make the pitch have screwball action. Cabrera also throws a two-seam fastball. At the request of Tracy and the Major League staff after Spring Training, he has been developing a breaking pitch that he says is improving rapidly. Cabrera, whose big drawback is the home run (15), is not concerned about facing Major League hitters. "For me, it's the same game, here, Double-A, Single-A, everywhere," Cabrera said. The Rockies optioned right-handed reliever Zach Putnam to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Putnam has made two scoreless appearances, one during the Rockies' 12-5 loss to the Nationals on Tuesday night, in three call-ups to Colorado.
Scutaro takes part in drills after beaning
DENVER -- Rockies second baseman Marco Scutaro, hit in the head by a 95 mph fastball from Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg on Monday night, participated in pregame activities before Tuesday night's game, but did not play.Scutaro was hit by Strasburg's first pitch -- an intended sinker that went awry -- in the sixth inning. It turned out to be the second time Scutaro has been hit in the head at 95 mph. "In '09, Josh Beckett hit me during winter ball -- 95, too, same pitch, like this," Scutaro said. Scutaro said he appreciated Strasburg showing concern for him from the mound. After being hit, Scutaro said he was stunned for a few seconds and felt ringing in his ears. But he was able to stand and walk off the field without assistance. The Rockies were being cautious with him Tuesday. "We would have been concerned if I had started feeling nauseous and throwing up and stuff like that," Scutaro said. "I didn't feel any of that, so I feel fine. But they said when you get hit in the head like that, later on you can start feeling things. But today is OK." Scutaro (.276, 4 HR, 20 RBIs) had a long run at shortstop after Troy Tulowitzki left the lineup with a left leg injury, but recently has been playing second base because Jonathan Herrera has returned from injury. On Tuesday, Herrera started at shortstop and Chris Nelson played second base.
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.