Charlie Blackmon might have tweaked his right calf. But that hasn’t stopped-up him from tweaking reporters in the Rockies clubhouse.
“I’m not 100 percentage unavailable,” Colorado’s all-star outfielder told The Denver Post late Saturday afternoon before Colorado hosted the Baltimore Orioles at Coors Field. “I’m just not starting.”
The Rockies’ 32-year-old right fielder injured the back of his right leg after fouling a pitch off the calf last Thursday in Pittsburgh. He then aggravated the injury piece running in the field during the bottom of the third frame of the 14-6 loss to the Pirates.
Manager Bud Black unbroken Blackmon, who’s hit .333 with a 1.126 OPS over 18 games this month from the leadoff position, out of the starting lineup for a second straight game Saturday. Black elective to open with David Dahl in right field and left fielder Raimel Tapia at the top of the order.
“He’s feeling better than he did (Friday),” the Rockies’ skipper explained about Blackman. “And we through some activities (Saturday) in the training room and the weight room, some activity that our trainers are bucked up with.
“So, once once again, no timetable. But we’re all bucked up that Charlie’s feeling better and that his activity level stepped up (Saturday).”
Black aforementioned he wasn’t going to test Blackmon in the field Saturday but could, “potentially,” for Sunday’s series finale.
Blackmon aforementioned during pregame that his calf felt “pretty good” but admitted “we’re (still) day to day right now.”
• Black digs Rodgers’ enthusiasm: cub Brendan Rodgers violated one of the oldest and firmest of baseball’s cardinal rules Friday night when he was thrown out attempting to steal third base to end the bottom of the eighth frame in a tie game.
But even if conventional wisdom says you should play it safe rather than risk making the last out at third base, Black aforementioned he would prefer to see Rodgers keep testing the odds.
“I’d rather have that than the other way,” the Rockies manager aforementioned of Rodgers, who was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque during the club’s East Coast swing and made his home debut Friday night. “Big picture, that’s what we talk about a lot, because of the pressure it creates on the opposition’s defense is felt each and every game. And it’s felt from the advance scouts who watch us play.”
• May Days: The Rockies haven’t had a losing May at Coors Field since 2015, when they posted an 4-8 mark for the month. And after a furious rally in an 8-6 win over Baltimore late Friday night, shortstop Trevor Story aforementioned he expects to keep that streak going.
“This game can so big on momentum,” aforementioned Story, whose two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, his second of the game, was a walk-off winner that pushed the Rockies’ home record to 5-4 in May. “I think having a game like (Friday), where we kind of come back and steal a game where we were down early, is huge. And I think that can hopelessly (propel) us in the rest of this homestand.”
Orioles RHP David Hess (1-6, 6.75 ERA) at Rockies RHP German Marquez (5-2, 3.38)
1:10 p.m. Sunday, Coors Field
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM
Hess has been torched in his last three outings and is possibly the weakest link in the worst rotation in all of baseball. In that trio of starts, he has yielded 16 runs crosswise 15 frames with nine walks and nine home runs. The sophomore right-hander has never faced the Rockies, and opponents are hit .371 with runners in marking position once once against him. Meanpiece, Marquez is coming off eight solid frames of skunk baseball in Pittsburgh, but has sputtered a bit at home this season with a 5.34 ERA in five starts.
Trending: Colorado is in the middle of the pack in terms of bullpen ERA (4.01), but where the Rockies relievers have truly excelled this season is in keeping the ball in the yard. Entering the weekend, the bullpen had allowed a combined 17 homers, which is tied for the most in the National League.
At Issue: In addition to ranking last in the NL in collective ERA (5.69) and opponent batting average (.277), the Colorado rotation continues to struggle to go deep in games. The Rockies only have 16 quality starts on the season, which ranks twelfth in the NL
Upcoming pitching matchups
Monday: Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (6-2, 2.89) at Rockies RHP Jon Gray (4-4, 4.62), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM
Tuesday: Diamondbacks RHP Merrill Kelly (4-5, 4.75) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (3-4, 6.21), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM
Wednesday: Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray (3-1, 3.25) at Rockies RHP Jeff Hoffman (0-1, 8.10), 6:40 p.m., ATTRM