PITTSBURGH -- Pitching at Triple-A Colorado Springs wasn't as daunting as right-hander Zach Putnam thought it would be. Putnam, 24, went 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA with 11 strikeouts to three walks in five appearances for the Sky Sox. The effectiveness earned him a promotion to the Rockies for Wednesday afternoon's doubleheader against the Pirates at PNC Park. Putnam made his Rockies debut in the second game of the doubleheader, a 5-1 loss to the Pirates. Putnam gave up one hit while pitching a scoreless sixth. After the game, however, he was returned to Colorado Springs.
The Rockies acquired Putnam from the Cleveland Indians for pitcher Kevin Slowey during the winter. Putnam had not pitched at Security Service Field or in the Pacific Coast League, but he had heard the stories.
"I think the humidor that they put in at Colorado Springs has helped with a lot of guys, not just me," Putnam said. "It wasn't quite as bad as I was preparing myself for. I was glad to do well there and come up here to try to help these guys."A rule under the Collective Bargaining Agreement allows teams to call up a 26th player for a doubleheader, but the roster must be returned to 25 before the next game. Sending Putnam down has the Rockies at the proper limit for Friday night's opener of a three-game set with the Mets. Putnam went 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA in eight games with the Indians last year. The experience increased his readiness for his chance with the Rockies. "From a performance standpoint, keeping the ball down was an issue with me last year, and that was the biggest thing I learned in my time in the big leagues," Putnam said. "This year, I'm hitting the bottom of the strike zone. But more than anything, pitching in the big leagues, the anxiety, stress and all the different emotions, I kind of got that out of the way."