Aaron Cook(notes) will make his season debut for the Rockies on Wednesday in the finale of a three-game series with the Padres, who may have prized prospect Anthony Rizzo(notes) stay with the big club after getting his injured left thumb examined.
Cook, who led the Rockies with 16 wins in 2008 and is the club’s career leader with 69 victories, had been dealing with shoulder stiffness in spring training before breaking the ring finger on his pitching hand when he caught it in a door.
The right-hander’s return will be welcomed as Colorado (28-32) has already lost Jorge De La Rosa(notes) for the season with a torn elbow ligament and watched 19-game winner Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) go winless over the first two months of 2011.
Cook, 6-8 with a 5.08 ERA in 23 starts last year, also will make his debut at a venue where he’s been real successful. He’s 7-1 with a 2.21 ERA in 11 games at Petco Park, with only loss coming in 2006.
“I’m comfortable pitching there,” Cook told the Rockies’ official website last week. “To have the best-case scenario out of something bad would be to come back and pitch in San Diego.”
While Cook is slated to start, the Padres (28-34) are not divulging what they plan to do with Rizzo - a first baseman and key piece acquired when Adrian Gonzalez(notes) was dealt to Boston over the winter.
Playing for Triple-A Tucson, Rizzo has dominated opposing pitchers, batting .365 with a .444 on-base percentage, 16 homers and 63 RBIs. San Diego is currently led by Chris Denorfia’s(notes) .302 average and Ryan Ludwick’s(notes) eight homers and 37 RBIs.
General manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday that Rizzo will be in San Diego to have his thumb looked at by a specialist. If Rizzo doesn’t debut against the Rockies, he could do so later this week versus Washington.
Rizzo suffered the injury in a collision with an umpire on May 31.
“There’s no structural damage,” Rizzo told the Arizona Daily Star. “It’s just swollen. It’s a bruise just like we said all along.”
Dustin Moseley(notes) (2-6, 3.00) will try to win consecutive starts for first time this season for San Diego. The right-hander limited Houston to one run and six hits in seven innings of the Padres’ 3-1 win Friday.
Moseley allowed six runs and a season-high nine hits over four innings of San Diego’s 12-7 loss on May 13 in Denver.
After getting blanked in the series opener, San Diego answered with a 2-0 victory Tuesday. Alberto Gonzalez(notes) and pitcher Tim Stauffer(notes) had back-to-back, two-out RBI singles in the fifth inning off Jimenez, now 1-6 despite a season-high eight strikeouts.
“He deserved a heck of a lot better fate than he got,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “He was terrific. He looks like the Ubaldo Jimenez of old.”