TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — All morning, Rockies reliever Randy Flores took part in a drill designed to improve the dexterity and reflexes of the pitchers.
Still, the exercise couldn't prepare him for the liner off the bat of Cleveland's Chris Gimenez. Before Flores even had time to flinch, the ball caught him squarely on the left forearm, leaving behind quite a bruise.
Following the Rockies' 6-3 win over the Indians on Wednesday, Flores walked out with his pitching arm wrapped in white gauze.
Just another member of Colorado's battered and bruised bullpen.
The knot on Flores' arm comes on the heels of the news concerning Huston Street, who could miss the season opener after experiencing tightness in his right shoulder during a recent throwing session. Street will find out the results of an MRI in the next day or so.
Should Flores' arm remain tender in the morning, he could be next in line for an MRI.
"When I came in, they did the test that would indicate if they thought it was broke — if I shrieked or something," Flores said. "I passed. So, it basically feels like a monkey bump times 100. ... Looks like just a bruise."
Street and Flores aren't the only ones banged up in the bullpen. Set-up man Rafael Betancourt has an inflamed pitching shoulder — although he had an encouraging pitching session Wednesday — and Jimmy Gobble recently strained his groin.
The health of the bullpen remains a question mark with opening day in Milwaukee looming on April 5.
Neither one is thinking about the state of the bullpen, just trying to do their jobs.
"I've played this game long enough to know that you go out there and pitch with the same intensity regardless if it's a spring training game or a regular season game," Speier said. "Whether you're pitching in the sixth or the eighth, whether you're pitching with the game on the line or not. You still have to have that competitive edge regardless."
Belisle has the same approach.
"My mind-set is to be ready to rock, be aggressive when they tell me to go," he said.
Jorge De La Rosa turned in his longest outing of the spring Wednesday, throwing five innings and striking out six. He only got stronger as the game went along, striking out the side in the fifth.
For his increased endurance, the hard-throwing lefty credits a revamped offseason conditioning program that helped him shed 18 pounds.
"I feel better," said De La Rosa, who had a career-high 16 wins last season. "I feel really good, almost ready to start the season."
After what he saw against the Indians, Rockies manager Jim Tracy wouldn't disagree. He liked the way De La Rosa kept pounding the strike zone.
"When he's really on, they're unhittable pitches," Tracy said. "Not every guy can walk out there and say, 'I have unhittable pitches.' He can. He's that type of guy."
Chris Iannetta powered the Colorado offense, lining a two-run triple to left-center in the sixth. Troy Tulowitzki and Melvin Mora added run-scoring singles.
Carlos Carrasco was effective for Cleveland, allowing no hits and striking out three in four innings of work. The performance may have bolstered his chances of landing a spot in the rotation, but he's not allowing himself to contemplate that.
"It is not my decision and nobody has said anything to me," said Carrasco, who was part of the trade that sent Cliff Lee to Philadelphia last July. "I want to be in Cleveland, but I will work hard wherever they send me."
NOTES: Rockies INF Omar Quintanilla sprained his left knee Tuesday and will have an MRI on Thursday. ... Carlos Gonzalez was originally in the lineup Wednesday, but was a late scratch due to tightness in both legs after lifting weights. "No big deal," he said. ... Given the depth of the starting rotation, the Rockies will look at RHP Tim Redding in the bullpen. ... After taking ground balls at first base all spring, Brad Hawpe will play the position in minor league games on the back fields.