The Rockies’ bullpen has gone from sturdy to shaky, and it needs shoring up. Is Carlos Estevez up to that job?
He thinks so.
“We have a really good team, so that’s why I’ve been sent down, but I know I can pitch up here and work my way through it and get outs,” the hard-throwing right-hander said Sunday.
Estevez, 24, was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill a roster spot when veteran Chad Qualls was placed on the disabled list because of lower-back spasms. In 13 relief appearances at Triple-A, Estevez was 1-2 with a 2.92 ERA, allowing seven walks and striking out 13. He’s struggled during his big-league stints this season, posting a 7.98 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 14 ⅔ innings.
Estevez, who had 11 saves as a rookie last season, has simplified his mechanics. He’s quicker to the plate and is learning to slow down, not speed up, when he encounters traffic on the bases. He’s still a work in progress, but manager Bud Black expressed optimism.
“I look at the long term as this fellow being a great Rockie,” Black said. “He’s going to make contributions this year, because he’s talented.”
History maker. When third baseman Nolan Arenado hit a one-out, three-run walk-off homer Sunday to beat the Giants 7-5, he added a new chapter to baseball’s history book.
According to the Elias Sports bureau, Arenado became just the sixth player in major-league history to hit a walk-off home run in a game in which he also hit for the cycle. The others: the Cardinals’ Ken Boyer in 1961, the Twins’ Cesar Tovar in 1972, the Royals’ George Brett in 1979, the Red Sox’ Dwight Evans in 1984, and the Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez in 2010. Arenado, however, is the only one of those six whose walk-off home run took his team from a deficit to victory. The five others hit their walk-offs with the game tied.
McMahon honored. In just his second week in Triple-A, infielder Ryan McMahon was named the Pacific Coast League player of the week for June 12-18. McMahon, 22, batted .593 (16-for-27) in six games, with five home runs, four doubles and 14 RBIs.
Right-hander Jeff Hoffman, now in the Rockies’ rotation, received pitcher-of-the-week honors from the PCL earlier this season.
Looking ahead …
Nam Y. Huh, The Associated Press
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 9, 2017, in Chicago.
Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.00 ERA) at Rockies RHP German Marquez (5-3, 4.19), 6:40 p.m., ROOT TV, 850-AM
Greinke, Arizona’s ace, is a Top-10 pitcher in the majors — one of two the Rockies will face within a week. They will likely see Clayton Kershaw in Los Angeles this weekend. Greinke’s approach is simple and effective: throw strikes. He strikes out 10.4 batters per nine innings while walking just 1.9. That ratio is among the best in baseball. Marquez, the 22-year-old rookie, has twice faced the D-backs, in consecutive six-inning outings. He struck out eight without allowing a run in Arizona on April 30, then allowed five runs at Coors Field on May 5. Nick Groke, The Denver Post
Wednesday: Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker (5-3, 3.32) at Rockies RHP Jeff Hoffman (4-0, 2.25), 6:40 p.m., ROOT
Thursday: Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin (6-6, 5.19) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (9-2, 4.10), 1:10 p.m., ROOT
Friday: Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood (6-7, 4.08 ERA) Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda (5-3, 4.70), 8:10 p.m., ROOT