Rockies-Padres Preview

The Colorado Rockies’ pitching staff is about to get a boost.

It’s not certain if the San Diego Padres’ offense will get one as

well.

Aaron Cook 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 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 for the season with a torn elbow

ligament and watched 19-game winner Ubaldo Jimenez 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 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 .302

average and Ryan Ludwick’s 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 (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 and pitcher Tim

Stauffer 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.”

Seth Smith has two hits for Colorado, which has scored 13 runs

on a 3-5 road trip with one game left.