Wisdom serving Tulowitzki well at 30

Though compromised by injuries, star shortstop keeps sights set on full season

Wisdom serving Tulowitzki well at 30

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will ignore the special feeling that accompanies Opening Day this year in Milwaukee.

Last season's blissful start for the four-time All-Star, which included a 1.035 on-base plus slugging percentage and golden defense, disappeared after 91 games, at which point the long-standing labrum tear in Tulowitzki's left hip became unbearable and he underwent surgery. He'll get his excitement from being around for 162 games.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen struggles after Butler exits game early

Hundley, LeMahieu chip in seventh-inning RBI singles

Bullpen struggles after Butler exits game early

MESA, Ariz. -- A's third baseman Brett Lawrie launched a pair of homers and collected four RBIs in Monday's 11-2 victory over the Rockies at Hohokam Stadium, as Oakland's offense continued to roll. Oakland is now 13-1 at its new spring home.

Lawrie has four home runs in his last eight games.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Brothers labors through third straight rough outing

Left-hander struggles with command; CarGo feels fine in return to lineup

Brothers labors through third straight rough outing

MESA, Ariz. -- Rex Brothers struggled for the third consecutive outing Monday in the Rockies' 11-2 loss to the A's at Hohokam Stadium. The left-handed reliever didn't allow a run in the eighth inning, but he continued his late Spring Training swoon.

Brothers opened the inning with a quick out before issuing a four-pitch walk, and he then fell behind the next batter before coming back for a strikeout. He fell behind Oakland's Stephen Vogt before allowing a single and issuing another four-pitch walk to load the bases. A grounder to first got him out of the bases-loaded jam.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Butler exits start early with right shoulder fatigue

Rockies' No. 2 prospect allows one run in one inning against A's

Butler exits start early with right shoulder fatigue

MESA, Ariz. -- Rockies rotation candidate Eddie Butler left Monday's 11-2 loss to the A's with right shoulder fatigue, and he was scheduled to be evaluated later in the afternoon.

Butler, MLB.com's No. 2 Rockies prospect, was in the middle of an impressive spring. He entered Monday's start with a 2.63 ERA in four Cactus League outings (two starts), and he had a chance to further impress with another good outing.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies' Betancourt on verge of return to Majors

Reliever hasn't pitched in big leagues since having Tommy John surgery in 2013

Rockies' Betancourt on verge of return to Majors

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Realistically, it's been 12 springs since relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt has reached the final days of Spring Training wondering if he'll have a big league job. But in his mind, every spring is that way.

Betancourt, who hasn't pitched in the Majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2013, is under a Minor League contract that will become a $1 million deal with incentives if he makes the Opening Day roster. Betancourt has a 1.17 ERA in eight games, but he also faces stiff competition and an uncertainty whether the Rockies will go with seven or eight relievers.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Weiss hopes struggling outfielders can bounce back

Stubbs, Barnes have struggled throughout Rockies' Spring Training

Weiss hopes struggling outfielders can bounce back

MESA, Ariz. -- There comes a point when a player's performance becomes so perplexing that Rockies manager Walt Weiss or a coach will check in to make sure everything's OK.

The spring slumps of Drew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes have been noticed by the coaching staff, and Weiss is hoping the outfielders will turn it around in the final week of Spring Training as Colorado prepares for Opening Day.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies' Morneau, Descalso homer to down D-backs

Solo shots back Lyles' strong six-inning outing

Rockies' Morneau, Descalso homer to down D-backs

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In his second game back from a right oblique injury, Daniel Descalso homered for the first time this spring to give the Rockies a 2-1 victory over the D-backs in a split-squad game Sunday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

Descalso's start Saturday against the Cubs was his first appearance since March 14. The homer came off D-backs reliever Matt Reynolds to break a 1-1 tie in the seventh. Descalso's go-ahead hit came an inning after teammate Justin Morneau homered off Rubby De La Rosa to tie the game.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McBride's 2 HRs, 4 RBIs key Rockies in Mexico

Bergman roughed up; Ramos homers in 10th

HERMOSILLO, Mexico -- The D-backs and Rockies made sure to pack their bats for their day trip across the border.

The two teams combined for 29 hits as the Rockies outlasted the D-backs, 11-10, in 10 innings in front of a sellout crowd of approximately 16,000 at Estadio Sonora on a warm Sunday afternoon.

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Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gray hopes to turn negatives into positives

Young right-hander trying to learn from poor outing, move on from groin discomfort

Gray hopes to turn negatives into positives

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Saturday was painful for Rockies top prospect Jon Gray in more ways than one.

Not only did the right-handed Gray, the team's top Draft pick in 2013, manage just two outs during a seven-run (six earned) first inning against the Cubs, but he experienced pain in his right groin. Gray insisted Sunday that the soreness will not affect his next scheduled start. He needs to erase the hurt from his performance at a time when it seemed logical to pencil him in as the No. 2 starter.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Butler sees maturity as key to taking next step

Young right-hander revamped offseason routine

Butler sees maturity as key to taking next step

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies right-hander Eddie Butler believes he has the stuff to pitch in the Majors, and he is intent on showing he can bridge the gap between stuff and success.

Butler, fighting for a spot in the season-opening rotation, could put up a strong argument on Monday afternoon, when he starts against the Athletics at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

CarGo not concerned about left knee day after exit

CarGo not concerned about left knee day after exit

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said the left knee soreness that forced him from Friday night's game was from fatigue. He doesn't anticipate any lasting issues.

Gonzalez underwent surgery last August to repair the patellar tendon in his left knee. Gonzalez was ready for Spring Training games sooner than expected, and has performed well (.333, three doubles in 27 at-bats entering play Saturday). He felt the soreness after chasing down a third-inning fly ball and making a throw during Friday night's 7-5 loss to the Padres, and left the game after his following at-bat.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies trim roster; decisions remain in 'pen, rotation

Rockies trim roster; decisions remain in 'pen, rotation

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The race is on for possible jobs in the Rockies' bullpen and starting rotation.

With the roster moves the Rockies announced Saturday morning, the bullpen is down to three pitchers -- non-roster veteran Rafael Betancourt, 2014 revelation Brooks Brown and prospect Scott Oberg -- seeking either one or two spots, depending on whether the Rockies go with five starting pitchers or four in the early regular-season days.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickerson's early exit part of Rox day to forget vs. Cubs

Dickerson's early exit part of Rox day to forget vs. Cubs

MESA, Ariz. -- Jake Arrieta belted a three-run homer in a seven-run first and added a RBI double in the second to lift the Cubs' split-squad to an 18-4 victory over the Rockies on Saturday.

Kris Bryant went 4-for-5 and scored three runs for the Cubs, who collected 21 hits in front of a sellout crowd of 15,266 at Sloan Park.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Weiss: Important for Brothers to relax on mound

Weiss: Important for Brothers to relax on mound

MESA, Ariz. -- Rockies lefty reliever Rex Brothers' spring has taken a downward turn in his last two outings.

On Saturday, Brothers gave up two runs on one hit, one walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch during one inning of the Rockies' 18-4 loss to the split-squad Cubs. That performance followed a four-run, four-hit mess in two-thirds of an inning Thursday against the Rangers.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rox lefty De La Rosa not going to rush groin injury

Rox lefty De La Rosa not going to rush groin injury

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, dealing with left groin tightness throughout the spring, graduated from playing catch to throwing long-toss Friday, with hopes of throwing a bullpen session next week.

De La Rosa left his only Cactus League start, on March 20, because of the groin issue, which had limited him to one "B" game prior. The gradual pace of healing and building his arm strength eliminates him from starting the April 10 home opener against the Cubs. De La Rosa said he will need to pitch in two to three games, most likely a combination of extended Spring Training and Minor League rehab games, to build his pitch count for the Majors.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gray confident he'll bounce back from rough outing

Gray confident he'll bounce back from rough outing

MESA, Ariz. -- Just when it seemed safe to pencil top right-handed prospect Jon Gray into the Rockies' season-opening rotation, he turned in a short, rough start Saturday against the Cubs.

Gray lasted just two-thirds of an inning and gave up seven runs (six earned) on four hits and a walk. There were two errors, but one came when Gray mishandled Addison Russell's bunt and let a run score. On a similar play later in the inning, Gray panicked when he didn't see first base covered and fumbled David Ross' bunt.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kendrick shows ability to battle through 'tough innings'

Weiss lauds Opening Day starter's intelligence, precision on mound

Kendrick shows ability to battle through 'tough innings'

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Kyle Kendrick has never been one to blow hitters away. There's a method to his pitching that involves putting the ball where it'll get hit -- but where it won't get hit hard.

In that vein, the Rockies signed Kendrick to be their version of an escape artist. Kendrick's style makes him prone to allowing hitters to reach base, but the club likes his ability to stay away from the big inning.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gonzalez exits game vs. Padres with sore left knee

Rockies right fielder had knee surgery in August

Gonzalez exits game vs. Padres with sore left knee

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez was removed from Friday's game against the Padres because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. Gonzalez called the injury "nothing serious" and will be re-evaluated in the morning.

Gonzalez, who had surgery on the knee Aug. 19, aggravated it after a catch-and-throw off a Will Middlebrooks fly ball in the bottom of the third. He finished the inning, and he batted in the top of the fourth before being removed in the middle of the frame.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kendrick labors vs. Padres as Opening Day approaches

Blackmon, LeMahieu fuel Rox offense, but San Diego rallies in eighth

Kendrick labors vs. Padres as Opening Day approaches

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Will Venable's opposite-field, two-run double in the eighth inning Friday lifted the Padres to a 7-5 victory over the Rockies in a Cactus League Game at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Before Venable's hit, projected Opening Day starters Kyle Kendrick and James Shields labored.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies' rotation for first week coming into focus

Rockies' rotation for first week coming into focus

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss still isn't ready to divulge his full rotation for the start of the season. But the club's pitching plans over the next few days could be an indication.

Colorado will follow Opening Day starter Kyle Kendrick -- who faces the Padres in Peoria Friday night -- with Jonathan Gray on Saturday and Jordan Lyles on Sunday. Assuming the three of them get one more Spring Training start on normal rest, that would line up the trio to pitch April 6-8 in Milwaukee.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After 'soul searching,' Barnes commits to new approach at plate

Despite spring struggles, outfielder expected to maintain roster spot

After 'soul searching,' Barnes commits to new approach at plate

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Brandon Barnes carried a sour taste in his mouth into the offseason last October. His .257/.293/.425 slash line was by no means terrible, but the Rockies outfielder never truly felt comfortable at the plate.

That meant it was time for some self-described "soul searching." Barnes made a drastic adjustment to his swing, adding a leg kick that he says will help with his timing. He also spent hours dissecting film of his own at-bats, trying to decipher his weak spots.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Filling in admirably, Bettis aces audition

Filling in admirably, Bettis aces audition

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rockies sent right-hander Chad Bettis to Minor League camp on Sunday, but after they released Jhoulys Chacin and learned that David Hale's left oblique injury would cost him Thursday night's start against the Rangers, Bettis had another audition.

Bettis acquitted himself well, giving up two runs -- on a Leonys Martin homer -- but allowing no further runs and striking out four against three hits.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Weiss: Roster decisions to be based on early games

Weiss: Roster decisions to be based on early games

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Manager Walt Weiss said that the makeup of the Opening Day roster is still unsettled with a little more than a week left in Spring Training.

The next several days will determine whether the Rockies will begin the season with five starting pitchers or four (they don't need a fifth until April 14), or eight relievers or seven. About all that's known is that the bench will have to be versatile; the ability of catcher Wilin Rosario to play first base, for example, will be key.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies' rally falls short after Bettis' fine start

Rockies' rally falls short after Bettis' fine start

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Leonys Martin hit a two-run home run in the third, Nick Martinez pitched six scoreless innings and the Rangers defeated the Rockies, 6-3, on Thursday night.

Rockies starter Chad Bettis allowed two runs in four innings. He only allowed three hits, but he hung a 1-2 curveball to Martin, who hit it out to right-center for his second home run of the spring. Reliever Rex Brothers, who entered with a 1.50 ERA in five games, struggled, allowing four runs in the eighth inning, on a pair of singles, a double and a wild pitch.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Move to 'pen has been the difference for Friedrich

Move to 'pen has been the difference for Friedrich

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Lefty Christian Friedrich is rounding into the form the Rockies unlocked last season, when they moved him to the bullpen.

Friedrich gave up his first run of the spring during a two-inning stint in the Rockies' 5-1 victory over the Giants on Wednesday. But he hit his stride with his slider -- the pitch that was instrumental in his fashioning a 1.64 ERA in 13 relief appearances. He had a 9.45 ERA in his three starts before the Rockies made the conversion.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Oberg, Roberts taking every opportunity to impress

Oberg, Roberts taking every opportunity to impress

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Scott Oberg and lefty Ken Roberts entered Spring Training as non-roster afterthoughts, with neither having pitched above Double-A. Yet they're still with the club with a little more than a week left.

Unless there is a dramatic onslaught of injuries to the expected bullpen members, it's doubtful either will break camp with the club. But each outing is a chance to impress, which could make them candidates for in-season callups.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Butler's strong start backed by Tulo's homer

Rotation hopeful allows one run in five innings; Arenado adds RBI double

Butler's strong start backed by Tulo's homer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Wednesday's Giants-Rockies Cactus League game featured two starters working on both ends of the career spectrum: rookie right-hander Eddie Butler is still vying for a spot in Colorado's starting rotation and veteran Giants right-hander Tim Hudson is trying to begin what he says is his final season in good health.

Butler made a case for himself by pitching five innings of one-run, five-hit ball in Colorado's 5-2 victory. Hudson pitched three perfect innings before allowing Troy Tulowitzki's two-run homer and Nolan Arenado's RBI double in the fourth. Tulowitzki had two hits against Hudson, including a sixth-inning single.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Amazing' Betancourt battling for Rockies roster spot

Reliever tosses second scoreless outing since getting hit with line drive

'Amazing' Betancourt battling for Rockies roster spot

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Six days after being hit in the jaw by a line drive, ageless reliever Rafael Betancourt took another major step along the comeback trail by pitching a scoreless eighth inning for the Rockies on Wednesday in their 5-2 win over the Giants at Salt River Fields.

"You try to not put that kind of thing in your head," Betancourt said Wednesday. "It's part of the game."

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.