Pomeranz works hard in Minor League tuneup

Pomeranz works hard in Minor League tuneup

DENVER -- Rockies rookie left-hander Drew Pomeranz said the movement on his fastball surprised him Tuesday night, when he pitched for Double-A Tulsa in a tuneup for his first Major League start of 2012, Sunday at Coors Field against the D-backs.

Pomeranz, 23, sent to the Minors to begin the year because the club didn't need a fifth starter the first time through the rotation, threw four scoreless innings, gave up four hits, struck out four, walked one and hit one in Tulsa's 6-3 victory at Corpus Christi.

But it took 77 pitches to get through four, and the outing required him to work out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the second inning before striking out two batters.

"My fastball was cutting a lot -- it could've been the Minor League balls, it could've been me getting on the side of the baseball," Pomeranz said by text. "I got into a lot of deep counts, left a lot of people stranded on base, but they still didn't hit it. I could've thrown more pitches, but I threw a lot in a short amount."

Manager Jim Tracy said the Rockies will limit Pomeranz's innings, mostly by skipping him on occasion. Pomeranz threw 118 1/3 innings, including 18 1/3 with the Rockies, in his first professional season, so the Rockies don't want a dramatic jump this year. But Tracy will not announce a pitch count for a given game.

"We have to be mindful as we go along to the innings buildup, but the pitch count will take care of itself whether it's Drew Pomeranz or any member of our staff," Tracy said. "They stay in the game longer if they are efficient."