Corpas feels 'much better' after surgery
DENVER -- Manny Corpas' bothersome bone chip is out of his right elbow and headed for his trophy case.
The Colorado Rockies reliever requested the tiny sliver of bone as a keepsake from his first surgery Friday. He brought it with him in a visit to the clubhouse the next day, showing teammates the chip that was causing so much irritation.
Although Corpas' right elbow remains puffy, he can already bend the arm and touch his shoulder. He's scheduled to have the stitches removed in 10 days and will work on increasing the strength in the elbow. He's hoping to throw sometime in August and has targeted a return in September.
"It's feeling much better," said Corpas, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday.
While inside the elbow, the doctor checked for ligament damage and found nothing. That possibility had Corpas on edge more than the bone spur. The thought of needing Tommy John surgery -- like Taylor Buchholz underwent earlier in the season -- petrified him.
"Everything is fine," said the 26-year-old Corpas, who's 1-3 with a 5.88 ERA this season. "It's good."
With Corpas' elbow ailing and Alan Embree out after breaking his right leg on a line drive earlier this month, the Rockies went out and bolstered their bullpen. They acquired Rafael Betancourt from Cleveland on Thursday and promoted right-hander Jhoulys Chacin from Double-A Tulsa.
So far, the moves are paying off.
Betancourt has thrown two scoreless innings since joining the club and Chacin pitched a scoreless ninth Saturday night in his major league debut.
Although Chacin was a little nervous when summoned against the Giants, he received a piece of advice from his buddies in the bullpen that calmed him down.
"They told me, 'Hey, when you get out there just do what you know how to do, just throw strikes and make them swing,'" said Chacin, who was awarded the game ball after striking out two and walking one. "So I just wanted to throw it in the zone and make them swing."
By dealing for Betancourt, Rockies manager Jim Tracy now has a reliable bridge to closer Huston Street, who's converted 25 of 26 save chances. It also allows Tracy to switch Juan Rincon back to his more comfortable role of pitching in the seventh inning.
"[It's an] opportunity to move some of the other pieces around to where they make even more sense than where I had them," Tracy said. "But they did a yeoman's job."
The bullpen ran their streak to 11 1/3 innings without allowing a hit Sunday in a 4-2 win over San Francisco, when lefty Franklin Morales and Street each pitched perfect frames.
"The team has done a great job piecing together a bullpen that's really nailing it down," said starter Aaron Cook, who won his seventh straight decision Sunday. "When we hand the ball to our bullpen, we know they're going to get the job done. They're going to be aggressive and throw strikes. The way they've been handling their business has been unbelievable to watch."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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