TUCSON, Ariz. -- Joe Beimel rejoined the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday and set his sights on opening day. The club just wants the left-hander to concentrate on getting ready.
Beimel passed his physical Tuesday and signed a minor league contract, adding to Colorado's depth in the bullpen. Whether he can be ready in time for opening day is still in question."Maybe that turns out to be," general manager Dan O'Dowd said before the Rockies lost 9-6 to the San Diego Padres, "but that's not what we're going into this for. We're trying to win a World Series. We're not just trying to get a major league pitcher. We want him to be right to help us -- put him in the best position to help our club and help ourself."Tony Gwynn had three hits and scored three runs for the Padres. Nick Hundley hit a two-run homer in San Diego's five-run sixth inning."I like the fact that Tony is going line to line with his hits," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He's playing very smart, very aggressive."Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Chris Iannetta homered for the Rockies. Jason Hammel pitched five-plus innings, yielding five runs and seven hits.Tulowitzki and San Diego's Everth Cabrera got into a shouting match after Cabrera was caught stealing and tagged out in a rundown play to end the fifth. Tulowitzki was upset that Cabrera veered from the basepath and got tangled up with first baseman Todd Helton."To me, it was just a little too much for a spring training game," Tulowitzki said.Cabrera said he was trying to get an interference call."I didn't realize I was that far out of the baseline, and then they're yelling at me," he said.San Diego's Kevin Correia gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked none.The Rockies are off Wednesday and manager Jim Tracy expects to meet with Beimel on Thursday. Tracy isn't planning on Beimel breaking camp with the Rockies but didn't rule it out."I won't sit here and 100 percent tell you that won't happen," Tracy said, "but I don't how feasible that is."Beimel, who turns 33 on April 19, said he has been throwing daily since December and throwing off a mound every other day, up to 50-55 pitches."If I do that in a regular game, you know I'm in trouble," he said. "I think my arm strength's there."Beimel said he's in better shape than last year when he signed late and joined Washington in mid-March. He was acquired from the Nationals on July 31 for two minor league pitchers and went 0-1 with a 4.02 ERA in 26 games with the Rockies.Beimel said he had been working out at South High School in Redondo Beach, Calif., where hitters tracked Beimel's pitches but didn't swing."I didn't want to throw to guys with an aluminum bat," Beimel said. "I was a little scared of that."With left-hander Franklin Morales likely to start the season as the closer while Huston Street recovers from right shoulder inflammation, Beimel could give Tracy a second lefty reliever for earlier in the game in addition to Randy Flores.Flores threw a scoreless inning against the Padres in his first appearance since he was struck on the left forearm by a line drive last Wednesday. That incident, O'Dowd said, reinforced how thin they were in lefty relievers.If Beimel isn't ready to start the season, right-handers Justin Speier and Juan Rincon, both signed to minor league contracts, are the primary candidates to begin the season in the Rockies' bullpen.
Rockies setup man Rafael Betancourt pitched an inning in his first spring game. Betancourt, who allowed one run and one hit, had been slowed by right shoulder inflammation. "The most important thing is I feel very good," Betancourt said. "I feel better than after I threw Saturday (in a minor league game)." ... The Rockies optioned pitchers Jhoulys Chacin and Samuel Deduno and reassigned left-handed reliever Jimmy Gobble to minor league camp.