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Sunday, July 13, 2003
Updated: July 14, 11:38 AM ET
Tigers trade Bernero for Petrick

Associated Press

DETROIT -- The Colorado Rockies beefed up their bullpen Sunday by trading catcher-outfielder Ben Petrick to Detroit for right-hander Adam Bernero.

Ben Petrick

Adam Bernero

Bernero started 17 games with the Tigers with just one relief appearance, but Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said he will be used to shore up Colorado's depleted long relief corps.

Bernero was 1-12 with a 6.08 ERA with the Tigers, but received the worst run support in the majors at 2.50 runs per game. He worked at least six innings in 11 of his 17 starts.

"He's dealt with some adversity and has a history of competing and overachieving,'' Hurdle said. "You look at the numbers of a lot of their starters and what is to say it wouldn't be different in a 'pen or a different role or on a different team.''

The Rockies have struggled in the middle innings this season, in part because of right-hander Nelson Cruz's ineffectiveness.

Cruz started the season in Colorado's rotation, but has struggled since being shifted to the bullpen. He missed 19 games after developing shoulder stiffness in April and will undergo strength tests this week to determine why his velocity has dropped.

Hurdle said Cruz, 3-5 with a 7.21 ERA, could end up with another stint on the disabled list.

Bernero has a 5-20 career record with a 5.93 ERA in 63 games in the majors. He will join the Rockies in San Francisco after the All-Star break.

Bernero thought he was being demoted to the minors before he was informed of the trade Sunday morning.

"I was happy I wasn't going to Toledo,'' he said.

The Rockies are happy to have him in the big leagues.

"We like his stuff, especially when we break it down the first 30 pitches,'' Hurdle said. "We thought it was a good baseball deal.''

Petrick started the 2002 season as the Rockies' backup catcher, but was moved to the outfield during the summer. He wound up starting more games in left (13) than behind the plate (12) and was sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs twice.

Tigers manager Alan Trammell said Petrick would see time behind the plate in Detroit, where Tigers catchers have hit a combined .160 with five home runs this season. Brandon Inge, who hit four of them, is at Triple-A Toledo.

"(Petrick) will catch some, no question,'' Trammell said. "We have to put him there. We have to upgrade our offense there.''

Trammell said Petrick will catch a couple of days a week as the Tigers staff evaluates him after he arrives in Chicago following the All-Star break.

Petrick hit .211 in 38 games in the majors last year and was 0-for-2 in just three games with the Rockies this season. He hit .259 with 11 homers and 40 RBI in 80 games with Colorado Springs.

"We've always held him in high esteem and wanted to make sure that if we made a deal, that it was a good baseball deal,'' Hurdle said. "In this case, the Tigers are looking for a little bit more in their area of catching, in versatility and athleticism. I think this will give Ben every opportunity.''