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Rox send Hawkins to 15-day DL

Rox send Hawkins to 15-day DL

NEW YORK -- The Rockies' bullpen underwent another change before Tuesday night's game with the Mets, as right-hander LaTroy Hawkins was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a forearm strain and lefty Tom Martin was activated.

It was part of a whirlwind 24 hours for Martin, who was placed on the DL late in Spring Training with a groin strain. It's also the latest action in eight days of flux for the Rockies' relief staff.

Martin pitched Monday night in Colorado Springs' 13-7 loss to Portland on a bitter, rainy night that he described as miserable that "Turned into a football game." Martin yielded a wind-blown solo shot to ex-Rockies player Jack Cust and left the Sky Sox 0-0 with a 7.20 ERA and two home runs against in five games.

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Before going on the DL, Martin struggled in Spring Training, yielding six home runs, 11 hits and six walks in 5 1/3 innings. He tinkered with a lower arm slot, but before going on his rehab assignment returned to his usual angle.

Martin, who went 2-0 with a 5.06 ERA in 68 appearances for the Rockies last season, said Rockies pitching coach Bob Apodaca and Colorado Springs pitching coach Chuck Kniffin, a left-hander like Martin, have helped him straighten out.

"I'm slowing everything down," Martin said. "I've been keeping the ball down a lot more. My changeup is effective. All I have to do is just pitch."

The Rockies originally scheduled Martin, 36, to pitch Tuesday, but decided to throw him in Monday's game because bad weather looked likely to cause Tuesday's Sky Sox game to be postponed.

The injury was another setback for Hawkins, for whom little has gone right this season. Hawkins, signed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract as the primary setup man for closer Brian Fuentes, is 0-3 with an 8.59 ERA in five appearances. Hawkins was removed from the eighth-inning role last weekend and last pitched Saturday. His placement on the DL is retroactive to Saturday.

For the Rockies, the juggling is just the latest in a plethora of bullpen moves.

Since April 16, reliever Byung-Hyun Kim has gone on the DL with a right thumb contusion; Taylor Buchholz has moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation because of Rodrigo Lopez's elbow injury; Matt Herges has been brought up and quickly designated for assignment; Ramon Ramirez has gone to the DL with an elbow sprain; Zack McClellan, Bobby Keppel and Ryan Speier have been called up, and now Martin has been activated and Hawkins has been DL'd.

Setup men Jeremy Affeldt, Manny Corpas and closer Fuentes are the only members of the current bullpen that were on the Opening Day roster.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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