DENVER -- The Rockies announced prior to Sunday's game that the club has purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Tim Harikkala from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Harikkala (#49 - pronounced "ha-RICK-a-la"), is the scheduled starter for Sunday's game against the Cubs. To make room on the 25-man roster for Harikkala, the Rockies have optioned right-handed pitcher Ryan Speier to Triple-A Colorado Springs. To make room on the 40-man roster for Harikkala, the club has recalled Colorado Springs outfielder Sean Barker and placed him on the 60-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain.
Harikkala, 36, will be making his first major league appearance in over two years, since a relief outing on June 16, 2005 vs. the Yankees while with Oakland. Since electing free agency to leave the Oakland organization on June 24, 2005, Harikkala has pitched for two teams in the Korean Baseball Organization from 2005-07. He signed a Minor League contract with Colorado on July 27, and went 1-0 with an 0.84 ERA (10 2/3 innings, one earned run) in 4 games/one start for Colorado Springs before joining the Rockies. Entering today's game, Harikkala has just one start in his Major League career, that coming over 11 years ago on June 19, 1996 vs. Toronto while with Seattle. Since he was originally selected by Seattle in the 34th round of the 1992 June draft, he has gone 7-8 with a 5.91 ERA (96 innings, 63 earned runs) in 72 games/one start in his career with Seattle (1995-96), Boston (1999), Colorado (2004), and Oakland (2005).
Speier has gone 0-1 with a 7.11 ERA (6 1/3 innings, five earned runs) in seven relief appearances over three stints with Colorado this season. Major league opponents are batting .444 (12-for-27) against Speier.