Monday’s First Pitch


Jim Tracy played with fire Friday night.

Unfortunately for Rockies fans, he got burned.

To the tune of a two-ruin walk-off home run off the bat of Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, Felipe Paulino was designated for assignment Saturday, which gives the club 10 days to figure out what to do with the stuggling pitcher. They can either place him on waivers after that 10-day period, trade him, or outright release him. If he clears waivers, he’ll be sent to the minor leagues after a week.

In the meantime, the Rockies recalled Greg Reynolds from Triple-A Colorado Springs Saturday to fill Paulino’s role in the bullpen, but he will be available to start on Tuesday in the doubleheader against the Arizona Diamondbacks if the Rockies need him to.

After being swept by the Brewers this past weekend, the Rockies need all the help they can get in the pen.

The offense continued its return to form this past weekend. Jason Giambi homered (again) Friday, and Carlos Gonzalez went deep for the sixth time, showing his groin strain is a non-factor, and he’s officially out of his slump. After racking up 26 hits and 10 runs against the Brewers, the Rockies retun to the friendly confines of Coors Field for a 10-game homestand. After a day off Monday, they open up with four against the Diamondbacks. That series includes a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday as a make-up for the Opening Week series, which was snowed out.

It’s safe to say Ubaldo Jimenez is almost back. He threw an eight-inning two hit gem Sunday, and while one untimely hit by Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun cost him three runs and his first victory of 2011, Jimenez’s next start against the Cardinals could be his best chance at a win, even better than his performance Sunday.

If the Rockies can get back on track, look for this next week and a half to be a catapult for a successful June. May has not been kind to the Rockies, and they’ll be happy to put May 2011 in the past. Every championship team has it’s rough patches. It’s impossible to win 162 games, and even in a division as tough as the NL West, everybody is allowed their slip-ups. The difference between a contender and a pretender is putting those slumps behind you, moving on, and playing baseball like you’ve proven you can.