PHI@COL: Weiss throws ceremonial first pitch to son

DENVER -- After the first pitch from Walt Weiss landed safely in the glove of his son, Bo, the two met halfway between the mound and home plate, put their arms around one another and walked back to the Rockies' dugout.

It was a dramatically different Father's Day scene for Colorado's first-year manager from the one a year ago, when he was still managing his son's baseball team at Aurora's Regis Jesuit High. His wife, Bo and his youngest son Brock were in a familiar spot watching Walt from the stands. Only this time, instead of the local municipal baseball park, they were sitting in Coors Field.

It was his first Father's Day as a big league manager.

"Last year, I was probably with a Connie Mack team in the summer somewhere in the Denver-Metro area, playing in a doubleheader or playing in some tournament or something," Weiss said. "It's a slight change."

Right fielder Michael Cuddyer, himself the father of a son who is about to turn 5 and twin girls who are 18 months old, also had a few extra eyes on him Sunday.

Cuddyer's son Casey is already following in his father's footsteps.

"He loves baseball, loves everything about it," Cuddyer said with a smile.

Rockies option Volstad, call up Kensing

DENVER -- Chris Volstad's stay with the Rockies lasted all of five days as they optioned him to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Sunday.

Volstad struggled in two appearances with the Rockies, allowing one run in the eighth Wednesday and giving up three more Saturday in a 10-5 win over the Phillies.

"Talked to Chris this morning, and he understands," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He's struggled with getting the ball down in the couple outings with us this time around. Velocity is good and he knows he's got to pound the zone with that two-seamer. He's going to go down there and work on that and look to get back in the mix with us again."

Logan Kensing, another right-handed reliever, settled into a new clubhouse locker this morning and will take Volstad's roster spot. It is Kensing's first time in the big leagues since 2009, but he proved himself Major League-ready with a 2.57 ERA in 21 innings with the Triple-A Sky Sox. He has not allowed more than one run in his last seven appearances.

Kensing said he expects to fill in as a middle reliever, but he's ready to come out of the bullpen whenever the coaching staff calls his number. Kensing can reach the mid 90s, and he has recently developed a changeup to complement his slider, an addition that may have finally pushed him over the thin line between the high-Minors and the Majors.

"They really just keyed on throwing a lot of changeups, keeping the ball down and getting ground balls," Kensing said. "That's something I think is organization-wide. They harp on [pitching for ground balls] and it's paid off."

The Rockies made the move in lieu of the upcoming Interleague Play as the club begins a nine-game, 10-day road trip to Toronto, Washington and Boston.

"Going into the American League parks, don't necessarily need the 13 position players and you don't typically use your bench too much in those American League games," Weiss said. "So sticking with the 13 pitchers, I think, is the way to go I think in the next couple weeks here looking at it."

Fowler returns atop Rockies' lineup

WSH@COL: Fowler hit by pitch in hand, remains in game

DENVER -- After missing two starts with a right hand injury, center fielder Dexter Fowler returned to his usual leadoff spot Sunday.

Fowler was one of three Rockies starters who were injured in the series-opening loss to Philadelphia on Friday, along with Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. Fowler was injured when a pitch struck his hand as he attempted to bunt, which kept him from being able to grip a bat.

"The key was he felt good enough to take swings," manager Walt Weiss said.

In addition to his valuable defense, Fowler has been swinging the bat better in June than at any point this season. He is hitting .381 with two homers and seven RBIs through 12 games this month.

Rockies to take advantage of upcoming AL games

DENVER -- The American League road trip comes at an ideal time for the Rockies, as the designated hitter spot will give manager Walt Weiss a chance to rest his best hitters keep while still keeping them in the lineup.

Weiss said anyone from Wilin Rosario to Carlos Gonzalez to Michael Cuddyer could fill in as the DH during the five upcoming games against the Blue Jays and Red Sox.

"At this point in the season, we go into Washington where there's a couple day games -- it may be an opportunity for me to give our regulars maybe that DH spot here and there," Weiss said. "We'll figure that out, but I think it's a nice opportunity to keep them involved but give them a break at the same time."

Worth noting

• Weiss gave veteran slugger Todd Helton his second straight day off Sunday to give him a break before the long road trip. Helton is not dealing with any kind of injury, but just soreness.