DENVER -- Not to be harsh, but it didn't take long for right-handed pitcher Christian Bergman to fit in with the Rockies.
Hit by a line drive from the Brewers' Aramis Ramirez on Friday night in just his third Major League start, Bergman was sporting the latest in removable-cast technology on his left hand -- the fashion craze around the injury-plagued Rockies' clubhouse. Bergman's hand regained much of its range of motion over the last several days, and he believed he would start Wednesday afternoon against the Cardinals.
However, an MRI exam revealed a break of the trapezium bone at the heel of the hand. Now Bergman will wear the cast, which can be removed and cleaned but must immediately be put back on, for six weeks. Although it's his catching hand, hitting and fielding are risks.
"It turns out the spot where it was still sore is where it's broken," said Bergman (0-2, 7.20 ERA). "It was a surprise to me. Even after learning that, I still wanted to pitch tomorrow.
"But there's a little knob that sticks off of it, and that's where it's broken. There's a tendon that runs across that knob. If I were to do something funny and sever that tendon, that would be an even bigger problem."
When the Rockies officially place him on the disabled list Wednesday so lefty Yohan Flande can make his Major League debut, Bergman will join fellow pitchers Brett Anderson (broken left index finger) and Jordan Lyles (broken left hand), third baseman Nolan Arenado (broken left middle finger) and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (tumor in left index finger) as Rockies on the DL with hand/finger injuries.
Not only that, but catcher Wilin Rosario missed a few starts early with left hand and wrist inflammation, and left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa spends time not pitching wearing a state-of-the-art splint on his bruised left middle finger.
So Bergman is part of whatever the heck is going on around here.
"I've definitely never seen this many injuries, especially all in the same place," Bergman said. "It's just crazy."
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said, "It looked like Bergman's hand was coming around, but it turns out he has a fracture in that hand. So he will join the long list of pitchers, in particular, with broken hands. It's been strange, kind of an epidemic around here."
Flande set to be Rockies' 12th starting pitcher
DENVER -- Yohan Flande will put the number of starters the Rockies have used this season at an even dozen, and the season isn't even at the halfway point.
Flande, a left-hander who has been in pro baseball since 2005, will be summoned from Triple-A Colorado Springs to make his Major League debut. He'll replace the injured Christian Bergman, who made his debut three starts ago but is out with a broken bone in his left hand.
Rockies starters this season
|Brett Anderson **||3||0||2||3.60|
|Eddie Butler *||1||0||1||10.13|
|Tyler Chatwood *||4||1||0||4.50|
|Jorge De La Rosa||15||6||6||4.75|
|Jordan Lyles *||12||5||1||5.87|
|Franklin Morales +||11||4||4||5.91|
Twelve starters used is good for the Major League lead.
To put into perspective how far the Rockies have dug into their depth chart, consider that manager Walt Weiss has seen Flande about as much as he's seen the Cardinals pitcher who is making his own debut on Wednesday, 2014 first-round Draft choice Marco Gonzales.
Flande made five Spring Training appearances for the Rockies with strong numbers -- one run allowed on six hits in six innings.
"He only made a few outings for us, but there's some deception," Weiss said. "He's a bit of a left-handed slinger, and he has shown the ability to get ground balls. That's what I remember about him."
The times Weiss saw Gonzales, in 2010, were more memorable because of the high school stakes involved.
"I've probably seen him pitch a couple of times," Weiss said. "And when I was an assistant over at Regis Jesuit, we played Marco's team, Rocky Mountain [High, Ft. Collins, Colo.], in the final four. His dad [Frank, now the Rockies' coach at short-season Tri-City] was his coach. Marco didn't pitch that game, but I think he hit a three-run homer against us."
Weiss also is considering having his entire battery making a Major League debut -- something that is more likely to happen during the expanded-roster days of September than in the middle of the year. Catcher Jackson Williams, who began his pro career in 2007 with the Giants but was stuck behind Buster Posey and others, is with the club through Wednesday while Michael McKenry is on bereavement leave. Weiss said he was considering having Williams catch Flande.
The Rockies went into Tuesday night with seven players having made Major League debuts this season -- starting pitchers Bergman, Eddie Butler and Tyler Matzek, all of whom debuted in a six-day period, plus relievers Tommy Kahnle and Chris Martin, and first baseman/outfielder Kyle Parker.
Herrera to carry Rox's banner at Futures Game
DENVER -- Rockies shortstop prospect Rosell Herrera will represent the organization in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game during All-Star Weekend in Minneapolis on July 13.
Rosters were announced Tuesday on MLB Network's "The Rundown" and MLB.com. The nine-inning game, in its 16th year, will feature a U.S. squad against a World squad and will be televised by MLB Network for the first time.
Herrera, 21, is considered a future leadoff hitter. He is batting .276 with a .315 on-base percentage at Class A Advanced Modesto. He has two home runs and 16 RBIs.
Last year, Herrera, listed at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, batted .343 with a .419 on-base percentage at Class A Asheville. He also received a long look during Spring Training as the Rockies gave veteran Troy Tulowitzki ample rest.
Rehabbing pitchers give Rockies good news
DENVER -- Coors Field was empty of fans but full of hope Tuesday afternoon. The @Rockies Twitter account chronicled for the world starting pitchers Brett Anderson and Tyler Chatwood, and relievers Boone Logan and Rafael Betancourt all throwing live batting practice sessions:
With a packed disabled list, the team on a seven-game losing streak going into Tuesday night's matchup against the Cardinals, and plans Wednesday for Yohan Flade to become the team's 12 starting pitcher used this year, guys throwing to hitters with a batting cage behind them definitely can be called good news.
And Logan -- placed on the 15-day disabled list June 5 with left elbow inflammation -- believes he could even do without the two rehab appearances the team has prescribed for him, although he'll follow the orders.
"If I had a say, I'd say, 'Let's rock n roll,' but I have to wait," said Logan, who is the closest of the pitchers to making a return. "This is my first time dealing with this kind of stuff."
Logan threw his fastball and slider, and above all, felt no pain. After finishing last season with the Yankees, Logan underwent surgery to remove bone chips and a bone spur from his left elbow. He thought he was fine but felt more pain with each appearance and was 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA in 21 appearances before the Rockies sent him to the disabled list.
"That's very refreshing, to be able to throw without pain," Logan said.
It's unclear how close Anderson (broken left index finger) and Chatwood (strained right flexor tendon) are to returning. Each threw two innings, 15 pitches apiece. Anderson said the schedule calls for another live batting-practice session Friday in Milwaukee and a bullpen session Sunday. Anderson believes he would be ready for a Minor League rehab assignment after that.
Anderson was happy with his two-inning session, with 15 pitches in each interval.
"The first set was kind of adrenaline-packed," Anderson said. "You were only pitching to your teammates and guys sitting around and watching. But just getting out there on the game mound and facing guys gets you a little adrenaline and almost taking off a little bit. But I settled down in the second set and I was back to normal, back to doing what I was supposed to do.
"I felt like I could have gone longer today, which is a good sign. I didn't have any fatigue, especially here in Denver. I feel good. I'll keep progressing and take it one day at a time."
Chatwood reported tightness in the forearm after throwing but said he'll assess how he feels Wednesday. Anderson and Chatwood will have to build to around 100 pitches before being considered for Major League duty.
"We had a bunch of guys out here throwing today," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's good, it means they are progressing and actually facing some hitters. It'a big step."
Betancourt is coming off Tommy John surgery last September. Because he is under Minor League contract, there is no deadline on his return. He hopes to pitch at Rookie-level Grand Junction around July 1 and can climb the Minor League system. It's possible he can return to the Majors before season's end.
Additionally, righty Eddie Butler (right rotator cuff inflammation) has resumed a throwing program and soon will be throwing bullpen sessions.