Betancourt to be activated; Chatwood, Oswalt to throw

Betancourt to be activated; Chatwood, Oswalt to throw

Betancourt to be activated; Chatwood, Oswalt to throw

BALTIMORE -- The Rockies will activate closer Rafael Betancourt, who has been out since undergoing an emergency appendectomy the day play resumed after the All-Star break, on Saturday.

Also, injured right-handed starters Tyler Chatwood and Roy Oswalt are expected to throw bullpen sessions on Saturday.

On Thursday, in his lone rehab appearance, Betancourt gave up two hits and a run for Triple-A Colorado Springs while appearing in a 7-1 victory over Memphis. Betancourt, who missed time earlier in the season with a right groin strain, is 2-3 with a 3.16 ERA and 15 saves in 16 chances in 28 appearances.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he will not commit to Betancourt being re-inserted into the closer role until meeting with the veteran right-hander. It's possible the Rockies will ease Betancourt back into the ninth inning. Lefty Rex Brothers is 11-for-12 in save chances, and hasn't blown one on the two occasions he has filled in for Betancourt this year. But Brothers gave up a solo home run to Matt Wieters in the ninth inning of Friday's 6-3 win over the Orioles in a non-save situation.

"Physically, he felt fine throwing last night, so he's ready to go," Weiss said of Betancourt. "I have no problem throwing him right back in that closer role if he feels mentally he's ready to jump right back into the fire. I know that's probably what he's going to say, because that's who he is. He gives us some flexibility with Rex, too, if that's the case."

There has been an almost night-and-day difference in the performance of the bullpen with Betancourt and without. When he hasn't been available, roles have been shifted and the Rockies have suffered in middle and setup innings.

Chatwood was scratched twice during an Aug. 6-8 series with the Mets, first with a hamstring strain and then with the more troublesome injury, a right elbow impingement. Oswalt suffered a left hamstring strain during a July 7 game at Arizona, and suffered a setback during a simulated game on Aug. 10. If the bullpen sessions go well, both could progress to simulated games.

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