McGEE’S DL STINT A BLOW TO BULLPEN

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - — Nick Groke, The Den­ver Post

WASH­ING­TON» The Rockies’ need for bullpen back­ing swelled Sun­day when they put south­paw reliever Jake McGee on the dis­abled list be­cause of a strained mus­cle in his back.

Colorado re­called left-han­der Zac Ross­cup from Triple-A Albuquerque. McGee has pitched as the Rockies’ pri­mary setup man for closer Greg Hol­land. He is their sec­ond-best, late-in­nings reliever with a 3.27 ERA and a team-lead­ing ra­tio of 3.92 strike­outs per walk is­sued.

Gen­eral man­ager Jeff Bridich has said the Rockies are on the look­out for bullpen depth, with one or two new arms needed to shore up the back of the re­lief corps. As Adam Ot­tavino con­tin­ues to strug­gle, and with Mike Dunn just now re­gain­ing form, a once-stout bullpen has faded to 12th in the 15-team Na­tional League with a 4.53 ERA.

Base­ball’s trade dead­line is Mon­day at 2 p.m. MDT. The Rockies ac­quired vet­eran reliever Pat Neshek from the Philadel­phia Phillies last week.

McGee was called on to prep for the eighth in­ning Sat­ur­day against the Na­tion­als in re­lief of Ger­man Mar­quez, but he felt dis­com­fort in his back and the Rockies sent him to the club­house. Man­ager Bud Black used Neshek in­stead in his Rockies de­but.

“When Jake felt some dis­com­fort in his back, he said this is not the right thing to do with the team. So we went right to Pat,” Black said. “We talk all the time about hav­ing to be ready for any­thing. It’s rule No. 1.”

McGee’s in­jury crept up in St. Louis last week.

“Jake’s been feel­ing it for a few days,” Black said. “We didn’t know whether he could be ready in the next cou­ple days.”

Are­nado up­date. All-star third base­man Nolan Are­nado made an­other “wow” play in the first game Sun­day, track­ing a foul popup from An­thony Ren­don in the fifth in­ning.

Are­nado sprinted about 60 feet to­ward the left field bleach­ers, down the foul line, and looked up for a bas­ket catch as the ball rain­bowed blindly over his head.

“I went right and the sun was that way, so I put my flips (sun­glasses) down,” Are­nado said. “And then I couldn’t pick it up, so I flipped them back up. And I turned left and kept go­ing. I was run­ning and then I picked it up.”

Are­nado’s ter­rific catch helped rookie pitcher Kyle Free­land post a 1-2-3 in­ning.

“When the ball was hit, I was watch­ing (short­stop Trevor) Story. I thought he’d be the one to get to it. … And then Nolan came in from out of nowhere and snagged it. It was an in­cred­i­ble play by Nolan. He sur­prises you every day,” Free­land said.

Foot­notes. Char­lie Black­mon’s four hits in the first game Sun­day gave him a ma­jor leaguebest 46th mul­ti­hit game. He also scored four runs, and he leads the ma­jors with 27 mul­ti­run games. … Free­land posted his 11th win. He ranks fourth in Rockies his­tory for vic­to­ries by a rookie, tied with Denny Stark (2002). Free­land has the most wins by a Rockies rookie since Jeff Fran­cis won 14 games in 2005. … Tyler Chat­wood will re­turn to the ro­ta­tion Wed­nes­day against the Mets at Coors Field. Ger­man Mar­quez pitches Thurs­day.

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