Procedure second in less than a year

Updated: July 2, 2004, 11:16 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- Colorado Rockies left-hander Denny Neagle had shoulder surgery on Friday, his second operation in less than a year.

Denny Neagle

Neagle hoped to return this season after having elbow ligament replacement surgery last July 30, but those plans were put on hold after arthroscopic surgery in Cincinnati to repair a labral tear and remove unhealthy tissue from his shoulder.

Neagle has had three mostly disappointing seasons since signing a $51 million, five-year contract with Colorado in 2001. He went a combined 17-19 his first two years with the Rockies, then was 2-4 with a 7.90 ERA in seven games last season.

Neagle made progress with his elbow rehabilitation and was scheduled to pitch a simulated game just over a week ago, but had a setback and wasn't able to go. No timetable was given for his return.

The Rockies also swapped out utility players, calling up Kit Pellow from Triple-A Colorado Springs and designating Denny Hocking for assignment.

Pellow started the season on Colorado's Opening Day roster and hit .258 with a homer and eight RBI in 39 games before being sent down June 20 when Larry Walker came off the DL.

Pellow played mostly in the outfield in his first stint, but will likely see more time at catcher -- his original position.

"This will force us to use Pellow more in situations behind the plate and continue to spin him around," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "We have definitely committed ourselves to have him catch more."

Hocking signed a minor league contract before the season and made the team out of spring training because of his versatility, but struggled at the plate and in the field. He hit just .202 with no homers and four RBI in 55 games, and started having trouble throwing to first over the last month.

"Denny came in and gave us an effort, he gave us a commitment," Hurdle said. "When you make tough decisions, a lot of it is predicated on what happens during the game. The game performance wasn't there. We were hoping for more and he didn't give more."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press