Pacheco makes second career start at catcher

Pacheco makes second career start at catcher

SAN DIEGO -- The Rockies' Jordan Pacheco made his second career start at catcher Sunday against the Padres, after delivering the game-winning hit in Saturday night's 12-inning victory over the Padres.

The Rockies felt catching was the best route to the Majors for Pacheco, the team's ninth-round choice in the MLB First-Year Player Draft in 2007, and moved him to the position early in his Minor League career. But when he arrived last year, the opening was at third base, where he has made 58 starts this season.

But with Wilin Rosario recovering from a slight left ankle sprain that he suffered Friday night and with veteran Ramon Hernandez dealing with major bruises on each arm and his ribs that he suffered the last two nights, manager Jim Tracy put Pacheco behind the plate for the first time this season.

Pacheco caught a bullpen session before Saturday's game to reacquaint himself with the position.

"I haven't worked there a lot, but we'll see how it goes," Pacheco said, smiling. "Ask me in a couple of hours."

Pacheco, 26, whose .306 batting average going into Sunday was tops among National League rookies, received high marks for his catching work during Spring Training, especially with blocking pitches in the dirt. The Rockies hoped that would come in handy Sunday, with left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich, who likes to throw a curveball that dips into the dirt when the batter swings.

Tracy said Rosario, whose 15 home runs lead Major League rookies, did extensive running Sunday morning, but is having trouble pushing off his left leg to go to his right. Still, Tracy believes Rosario will continue to improve and will not need to go onto the disabled list.