Rockies set to open season Friday in Houston

By: KRISTIE RIEKEN
April 5, 2012
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photo - Colorado Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki jokes with Seattle Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo during the first inning of an exhibition baseball game on Wednesday, April 4, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz.  Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Colorado Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki jokes with Seattle Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo during the first inning of an exhibition baseball game on Wednesday, April 4, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 

HOUSTON — Jeremy Guthrie, in his first year with the Colorado Rockies, will make his fourth career opening day start when he faces Houston Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez on Friday.

Guthrie went 9-17 with a 4.33 ERA last season with the Orioles.

"It was a good spring," he said. "I got the work in I wanted and the opportunity to work on the things I wanted — particularly the location of my off-speed pitches — and get acquainted with my new teammates. And I stayed healthy. That's an important thing, too."

The Rockies hope to rebound from a disappointing season after beefing up an offense which already included Todd Helton, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, with Michael Cuddyer, Marco Scutaro and Ramon Hernandez. Guthrie is looking forward to pitching with that offense behind him.

"We have speed and a bunch that can bang the ball pretty good," he said. "This lineup has the potential to be a good offensive team. Guys like Troy and Todd bring a lot of power to the game, and we have made some nice additions, including some excellent young prospects. So I think this can be an exciting club."

The Rockies are relieved that Tulowitzki is OK and should be ready to start on Friday after being hit in the left elbow by ex-teammate Ubaldo Jimenez of Cleveland on Sunday. Jimenez was suspended five games and fined for intentionally throwing at Tulowitzki. He played for the first time since the beaning on Wednesday and went 0 for 2 in four innings.

For 10 Houston players, Friday will be the first time they've been on a major league roster on opening day. Just two position players who started for Houston last season will start Friday.

The Rockies have quite a different makeup, with a roster that includes 41-year-old Jason Giambi, Helton, who is 38, and most notably starting pitcher Jamie Moyer, who turns 50 in November.

Moyer, entering his 25th major league season, is scheduled to start on Saturday.

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