Rockies expected to move Aaron Cook to the bullpen

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Aaron Cook has the distinction of being the Rockies’ all-time leader in wins, but none of that matters as the team’s playoff chances continue to fade by the minute.

A team source tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post that the Rockies are likely to move Cook to the bullpen, clearing a spot for Jhoulys Chacin to re-enter the starting rotation on Sunday.

Cook has been pretty bad all season, posting a 5.34 ERA through 21 starts, but he has reached a new level of awful lately, allowing five runs in each of his last three starts and failing to escape the fifth inning in any of them. He was chased after just three innings in a 10-0 loss to the Giants last night.

Just recently, we heard that the Rockies were “quietly shopping” the veteran right-hander. Cook is owed $9.5 million next season and has an $11 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2012. He would receive an additional $1 million if he is traded. There’s still a chance that could happen this month.

Chacin, 22, was sent back to the minors late last month shortly after Jorge De La Rosa returned from the disabled list. He has a 4.04 ERA overall this season and was very impressive during his time in the rotation, compiling a 3.67 ERA and a 74/34 K/BB ratio over 12 starts. He quite simply gives the team the best chance to win right now.  

Howie Kendrick to undergo an MRI after exiting game with a serious leg injury

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Update, 7:49 PM ET: The Nationals placed Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right Achilles injury. In a corresponding move, right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Double-A Potomac.

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Nationals left fielder Howie Kendrick was removed from the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers after injuring his right leg. In the eighth inning, Kendrick tracked a Max Muncy sac fly to the wall, but landed strangely on his right leg and fell to the ground. Unable to put weight on it, he was forced to exit the field on a cart and was sent to undergo an MRI soon afterward, the results of which have yet to be revealed.

While the Nationals have not specified the nature or severity of Kendrick’s injury, Martinez revealed that it’s located in the “lower part” of the outfielder’s leg and appears to be quite severe. He’ll likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list in the next couple of days, though the recovery process could take even longer.

Prior to the incident, Kendrick was off to a hot start this season. Entering Saturday’s doubleheader, he carried a batting line of .302/.331/.477 with 18 extra-base hits and an .808 OPS in 157 plate appearances. He went 1-for-3 on Saturday with a base hit in the seventh inning. Andrew Stevenson subbed in for Kendrick following the injury and has been tabbed to start in left field for the second game of the doubleheader at 8:05 PM ET.