SAN DIEGO -- In the wake of Ramon Hernandez's season-ending hamstring surgery and in light of the defensive struggles of and workload on rookie Wilin Rosario, the Rockies are turning to Jordan Pacheco to eat some innings behind the plate Sunday. This will be Pacheco's second start behind the plate this season.
That start also came against the Padres, meaning that the 26-year-old will at least have some familiarity with the lineup in addition to what information he can glean from film prior to the game. Still, Pacheco has spent much of 2012 bouncing around the infield and swinging the hottest bat of any National League rookie -- jobs that have cut into any time that he might have spent honing catching skills on a consistent basis this year.
"Since he's been bouncing back and forth between first and third, he's been playing every day, we never have a whole lot of time to be quite honest with you," Colorado catching coach Jerry Weinstein said. "When he gets a day off, we'd like it to be a day off. A lot of times when you're working on catching skills it's tougher than playing in a game, because you're blocking and all."
Weinstein and Pacheco have put in some extra work over the past few days in order to prepare for Sunday.
"The past four days we've spent probably 20 minutes a day blocking and receiving, and throws and stuff," Weinstein said.
Pacheco said he'll work on those basic catching skills at points throughout the year, but hasn't been lifting as a catcher might or putting significant time into the job he did full time from extended Spring Training in 2008 until late last season. Sunday will be his fourth big-league game behind the plate.
"I like it," Pacheco said of catching. "It's a tough job, but it's fun."
"He's going to be fine," Weinstein said. "Based on his last outing here, I think he'll be fine."
Pacheco was not in the starting lineup Saturday night in order to give his body a rest before Sunday.
"Playing nine more innings tonight and then running back there and catching tomorrow, I didn't feel that would be the best thing for him to do tonight," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. "So we're giving him a break tonight."