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Notes: Cook stays ready if needed

Notes: Cook stays ready if needed

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PHOENIX -- Fans above the Chase Field visiting dugout screamed the names of Rockies players as they emerged for batting practice. But Aaron Cook, in a numberless jersey, slipped by with barely a notice.

Cook hasn't pitched in a game since suffering an oblique strain on Aug. 10, and he doesn't know when or if he'll pitch in the postseason because the club did not place him on the roster for the National League Championship Series. Cook's next bullpen session hadn't been scheduled as of late Friday afternoon.

So Cook, the team's Opening Day starter, was reduced to an incognito role. But he saw no reason to make himself seen and heard. If someone is injured during the NLCS with the Diamondbacks, he can always be called. There's no need to distract those who are pitching.

"I've just got to continue to stay ready," Cook said. "It's easier because we're winning and guys are playing good baseball.

"It definitely makes it a lot easier as we continue to win. We've had a good team for a long time. I know it was a hard decision for [Rockies manager Clint Hurdle] to make, whether to give the ball to me and take it out of another pitcher's hand, or do what he did. I'm not happy with it, but at the same time you can't fault him because he's doing what he feels is best for the team."

Cook pitched seven encouraging innings in an instructional league game in Tucson, but the Rockies felt he would have needed another rehab start had this been the regular season. Instead, the Rockies re-inserted right-hander Josh Fogg into the rotation for the series with the Diamondbacks. Fogg pitched in relief in the three-game NL Division Series sweep of the Phillies.

Cook said he hoped to meet with pitching coach Bob Apodaca to determine when he would throw another bullpen session and whether he would prepare to be a starter or a reliever.

Cook went 8-7 with a 4.12 ERA in 25 starts, and he was 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA after the All-Star break.

Return of confidence: Until the last two weeks of the season, lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt was iffy when facing left-handed hitters in key situations. But when Hurdle called on him in Thursday's Game 1 with two outs in the seventh inning, the bases loaded and Stephen Drew hitting, there was no fear on anyone's part.

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Drew flied to right on the first pitch from Affeldt.

During the regular season, lefties hit Affeldt for a higher average (.250) than righties (.211). That included a stretch after the All-Star break during which lefties batted well over .300. But Affeldt found his aggressiveness before the regular season ended.

That's what worked for him against Drew.

"The pitch wasn't necessarily where I wanted it," Affeldt said. "But it was an aggressive pitch, enough to where he got under it and I got the out. When you have confidence, you're more aggressive and you're not afraid to fail."

Awards time: The Legacy Award program, sponsored by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, has named shortstop Troy Tulowitzki the NL Rookie of the Year (the Larry Doby Award) and general manager Dan O'Dowd the NL Executive of the Year (the Rube Foster Award).

Other award announcements could be coming. The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) announced its award schedule. Both leagues' Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards will be announced on Nov. 12. The Manager of the Year Awards, for which Hurdle is a candidate in the NL, will be announced on Nov. 14. Left fielder Matt Holliday is a prime candidate for the NL Most Valuable Player Award, which will be announced on Nov. 20.

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

{"content":["league_championship_series" ] }
{"content":["league_championship_series" ] }
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