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Rockies activate Escalona to bolster bullpen

Rockies activate Escalona to bolster bullpen

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Rockies activate Escalona to bolster bullpen

DENVER -- The decision to activate right-hander Edgmer Escalona from the 15-day disabled list in place of injured center fielder Dexter Fowler puts the Rockies at 13 pitchers. More important than that, it's a healthy staff.

Closer Rafael Betancourt returned Friday after missing 25 games with a right groin strain. That allowed righty Matt Belisle and lefty Rex Brothers (the fill-in closer) to return to their usual setup roles. Escalona will most likely be used in one-inning stints initially, but manager Walt Weiss wants to return him to middle relief.

The 13-man pitching staff could help during the 10-game road trip into the All-Star break starting Friday.

"At times, it's nice to have the 13, allows me to be able to match up a little bit and you got that extra guy down there, not worry about running out of arms if you go through two or three guys in an inning," Weiss said. "But ultimately, it all depends on how our team sets up for certain series or looking a week ahead. I'd imagine we'll go back and forth between 12 and 13 pitchers for the rest of the season."

Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com.Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.Jesse Sanchez This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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