Yes, I’m referencing an old Bryan Adams song. The recent cuts announced by the Rockies yesterday of seven players to minor league camp was somewhat of what was expected to a point, but then again maybe not so much.
Matt Murton and Carlos Gonzalez who will both end up in the Springs, I’m 50-50 on this. I know Fowler has been hot as of late in spring training at the plate and in the outfield but I believe Triple A is where he needs to start the season out of the gate. I say that because though Fowler is speedy and can cover alot of ground in center, but he has yet to log any mileage in the cavernous center field of Coors. Gonzalez and Spilly are your best bets to man center field. Maybe the idea at first will be to use Fowler in certain situations during the game and then have him sub in center field. Podsednik, though I am somewhat of a fan, should probably be waived. As for Murton, I would like to him see take over or at least platoon out in left field with Seth Smith. One of the problems with the Rockies is they like to create a logjam players at certain positions and they do nothing to either move the player in a trade or allow a player to be full time at set position. So this will mean Hurdle will again have a different lineup everyday almost in trying to be the nice guy or the players manager instead of having a set lineup and putting the best team on the field each night. I’m not saying you dont give players a break at times but without any consistency this team will have a team batting average and team fielding percentage both lower than they should be. I have to believe that Hurdle overthinks the game alot of the time and things backfire on him more times than not.
As for the “dragonslayer” Josh Fogg, is anyone really surprised by this? I hope not. Maybe he will get it together in triple A and we’ll see him at some point because we all know the pitching staff we’re going into the season with will look different week by week.
Edwin Bellorin didnt have a chance in hell of making the club with Iannetta and Torrealba already ahead of him and then Sal Fasano (who looks like he walked off the set of the recently cancelled show ‘Life on Mars’ on abc or That 70′s Show) comes in and has a good spring to boot.
Other cuts were Greg Smith, Randy Flores, and Paul Phillips.
Rockies are currently leading the White Sox 2-0 in the 5th inning.
I’m gonna take a quick look back at the weekend results as the Rockies enter their final week of spring training. The Rockies won 2 of 3 this past weekend, beating the Mariners 8-3 on Friday, and the Cubs 10-6 on Saturday. The Rox finished out the weekend losing to the Athletics 7-6 yesterday in Phoenix.
Just the facts… The Rockies heading into last weekend were 3rd in homeruns with 32 and 2nd in stolen bases with 33 this spring training.
Chris Iannetta’s North Carolina Tarheels have advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.
Joe Koshansky is picked up off the waiver wire by the Rangers in what for Texas fans is a good pickup.
The Week Ahead…
3/30 D’BACKS, 3/31 @White Sox, 4/1 @Royals, 4/2 @ D’backs, 4/3 @ Mariners, 4/4 MARINERS
Then next week, it all gets real as the Rockies open the season on the road against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
I’ve been saving my season predictions all spring training and so for the remainder of the week I will give my review on the rest of the NL West teams and where I think the Rockies will finish come season’s end.
If you’re in Tucson for spring training today, consider yourself lucky as it is 57 there right now and it is snowing here in Denver and 28 degrees, with blizzard-like conditions and dropping temps expected throughout the day.
Talking about hot, who was hotter yesterday than soon to be traded Jeff Baker? Baker went 4 for 4 with 2 homeruns on the day against the Angels in what looked more like a score from the pre-humidor day at Coors Field with a score of 18-11.
“It’s hard not to think about (trades) when friends are text-ing you about it,” Baker said. – Denver Post
It looks like if you are being currently rumored in trade talks that you upped your chances considerably yesterday. Yorvit Torrealba also homered yesterday with 3 RBIs.
The Rockies are hosting the Dodgers this afternoon at 2:10pm. I’m wishing right now I was back in Tucson, if even for a day and the warmer weather.
We’re halfway through the work week and I know I’m not the only one who is ready for the weekend to get here. So if you didn’t figure it out, MOTW is middle of the week, where I will just post some random thoughts on the Rockies, baseball, and other things that may or may not be related.
First off, Is anyone really surprised that Japan won the WBC for a second time? The bigger question would be, was anyone suprised that the US wasn’t in the final round of the World Baseball Classic?
The Rockies fell to the Cubs yesterday 9-8. Is anybody in Major League Baseball going to have a solid 5 man rotation that’s not questionable going into the season? So to make the point the Rockies aren’t the only team with this problem.
According to Corey Brock this morning on mlb.com, he sees the NL West as finishing like this. 1. Dodgers, 2. Giants, 3. D’backs, 4. Rockies, 5. Padres. Your thoughts?
Anyone with any Rockies roadtrips planned for the upcoming season? Where are you headed or where would you like to go? So far I’ve got 2 planned for the season. June 26-28 I’ll be in Oakland for the A’s series, with a quick trip over to Modesto on the 29th to watch the Rockies minor league Modesto Nuts play. I then will be off to D.C. for the series between the Rox and Nats, August 18-20.
Need a catcher? It looks as if the Rockies are also shopping Yorvit Torrealba according to Troy Renck.
Rockies face the Angels this afternoon at 2:05 in Tempe.
The Rockies beat the Brewers 7-1 this afternoon at Hi Corbett Field. Helton hits another homer his 4th of the spring. We can attribute Helton’s sudden power surge to Rockies hitting instructor Don Baylor. Helton’s display is further proof to his teammates and fans that this years team should have a better year at the plate statistically with Baylor’s help than they had last season without him.
Greg Reynolds, Joe Koshansky and Jhoulys Chacin were optioned to the minor league camp today. Reynolds and Koshansky are scheduled to begin the season in triple A Colorado Springs. Dont be surprised to see either of these guys in Denver at some point during the season.
Is Baker being shopped? It looks like the rumor of Jeff Baker possibly being traded has some legs to it. Renck according to his sources says Jeff Baker is being mentioned in connection with the Astros, Yankees, and Braves as possible suitors. I’d like to see maybe a trade of some sort to Atlanta for some pitching, which the Braves have more than enough of at the moment. Let’s keep an eye on this and see what develops.
The Rockies went 1-2 over the weekend, losing to the Rangers both on Friday 11-5, and on Saturday 8-4 in a home and home series. The Rockies did win Sunday against Cleveland 4-3.
Hopefully your NCAA bracket is looking pretty good still or at least better than mine. As for the Rockies and whose alma maters are still left in the tourney. Helton’s Tennessee Volunteers got booted out on Friday by Oklahoma State. Omar Quintanilla and Huston Street are now out as their Longhorns were beaten by my Blue Devils Saturday in a close game at the end. Brad Hawpe and Greg Smith are out as well as their LSU Tigers were beaten by Chris Iannetta’s North Carolina Tarheels. Others who were knocked out were Jeff Baker’s Clemson Tigers and Garrett Atkins’ UCLA Bruins. So that leaves Chris Iannetta as the only remaining Rockie whose school is still in the tournament. Just how far can his Tarheels go?
The week ahead…
3/23 BREWERS, 3/24 @Cubs, 3/25 @ Angels, 3/26 DODGERS, 3/27 @ Mariners, 3/28 CUBS
This afternoons game will be televised on FSN at 2:10pm.
Patrick Saunders has a great article in the Denver Post on Jason Marquis and his attempts to improve his game, even tweaking his delivery. Marquis getting the start today against the Rangers at Hi Corbett Field has given up 3 runs in the first inning, an RBI to Josh Hamilton, and a 2 run homer to Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz.
The Friday Facts…
The Miami Marlins are a step closer to a new stadium, as the city approved the measure yesterday by a 3-2 vote. Another vote is scheduled next week.
Baseball “commissioner” Bud Selig really is not as bright as he believes he is. In the LA Times earlier this week is an article where the commish admits he didnt believe baseball would be affected by the current economy.
“I used to think we were recession-proof. I really did,” Selig said during the Angels’ 6-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs – Los Angeles Times
Now between the on going steroid controversy and this admission of stupidity about baseball and the economy, I think it’s safe to say it is time for a new commissioner. Mr. Selig you are clearly out of touch with reality, please do us the favor and resign. Selig also goes on to state.
“This is different. Some economists are saying it’s the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”
What?! You saying Mr. Selig that you dont remember the Great Depression?
Game update – Apparently Apodaca’s tweaking of Jason Marquis’ delivery isnt going too well. Through 3 innings Marquis has given up 6 runs. Rockies trail 6-0.
I’m pretty sure that Ryan Speier is getting an earful from Chris Iannetta about the beating Radford took at the hands of North Carolina yesterday 101-58. Speier an alum of Radford University were no match for the Tarheels and that’s being polite. So Speier will have to find another school to cheer for now.
Garrett Atkins can breathe a little easier today as his UCLA Bruins escaped by the narrowest of margins to VCU 65-64 in what would’ve been the biggest upset of the first day of the tournament. Jeff Baker’s Clemson Tigers were upset by the #10 seed Michigan Wolverines 62-59. Omar Quintanilla and Huston Street are all smiles as their Longhorns beat out the Golden Gophers of Minnesota 76-62. Brad Hawpe and Greg Smith’s LSU Tigers won yesterday over a scrappy Butler team 75-71.
So Ryan Speier (Radford) and Jeff Baker (Clemson) are now out of the tournament and seeking redemption in other teams to win the tournament. Iannetta (North Carolina), Atkins ( UCLA), Quintanilla and Street (Texas), Hawpe and Smith (LSU) all advance to the second round. The only other player left in the game is Todd Helton whose Tennessee Volunteers will take on Oklahoma State in today’s continuation of first round action.
The Rockies lose this afternoon to the Dodgers by a score of 3-2 and from the sounds of it they may have lost something more, like a 5th starter. Troy Renck reports that Hurdle is saying the team may not leave spring training with 5 starters due the off days in the spring training schedule. We all know there are various factors that play into the amount of time pitchers see in the spring. Injuries, reassignments within the organization, and poor performance for starters. But not to be overly critical of the Rockies, but how many other teams have this same problem? It seems to almost come off as sort of an excuse coming from Hurdle. Maybe other teams have this problem but would it sound as much like an excuse as it does with the Rockies? Maybe if heralded “dragon slayer” Josh Fogg hadnt struggled as much as he has this spring then days off in the schedule wouldn’t be an excuse offered by Hurdle. Renck goes on to get Hurdles thoughts on other topics with the team.
Rockies will face the Texas Rangers tomorrow at Hi Corbett Field with Jason Marquis scheduled to start for the Rockies.
For a lot of people, baseball fans included, today’s start of the NCAA basketball tournament pushes spring training to the back seat temporarily as final scores begin rolling in.
I am taking a little different approach to the tournament this year and by that I mean I am using the currently listed active and 40 man rosters, not including the non-roster invitees from coloradorockies.com to give my thoughts on whose college will end up where in the tourney. First off, these players will find thmeselves cheering for schools other than their own in the “big dance” as their alma-maters are not in the tournament.
Stephen Register- Auburn, Jason Hirsh- Cal Lutheran, Ryan Spilborghs- Cal Santa Barbara, Seth Smith- Mississippi, Matt Murton- Georgia Tech, Jason Grilli- Seton Hall, Greg Reynolds- Stanford, Clint Barmes- Indiana State, Joe Koshansky- Virginia, and Troy Tulowitzki- Long Beach State.
Now to those whose schools are in the tournament. Brad Hawpe and Greg Smith’s alma mater, LSU Tigers take on Butler in an 8 versus 9 matchup. Omar Quintanilla and Huston Street’s alma mater, the Texas Longhorns face Minnesota in a 7 versus 10. Garrett Atkins’ UCLA Bruins will face a feisty Virginia Commonwealth University in the first round, in which an upset is very possible, think VCU and Duke 2 years ago. Jeff Baker’s Clemson Tigers go against Michigan in another 7 versus 10 matchup. Todd Helton’s Tennessee Volunteers take on the Oklahoma St. Sooners (#8 vs #9).
Who has the best chance of winning the tourney you ask? That would be Chris Iannetta who went to North Carolina. His Tarheels will not have to worry about Ryan Speier’s Radford University Highlanders this afternoon in the first round, even with Ty Lawson not playing.
So as much as I hate to even think it being I’m a Duke fan, Chris Iannetta’s North Carolina Tarheels look to have the best shot of winning the NCAA’s at least within the Rockies roster of players and their respective schools.
Happy St Patrick’s Day to everyone!
There is a great article on the Tucson Citizen Newspaper website by John Moredich on Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Nothing that alot of fans dont already know about Tulo, but it basically covers Tulo’s first season in the majors (2007), his leadership abilities, and his struggles in the first half of the season in 2008.
“I want the guys to look at me in this locker room and say, ‘He has that leader mentality and he is a good player because he works his butt off and takes this game seriously because he cares, not only about himself, but the team,’ ” Tulowitzki said. – Tucson Citizen
There is no doubt that Tulo is the face of the franchise, especially now that Matt Holliday has moved on to greener pastures with the Athletics.
There’s also a nice write up by the Associated Press on Jhoulys Chacin and his start against the D’back yesterday. Read here.
Rockies take on the Royals this afternoon at 2:05pm.
The Rockies finished off the D’backs this afternoon 8-3 at Tucson Electric Park. They have the chance to reach .500 tomorrow against the Kansas City Royals at Hi Corbett Field with Ubaldo Jimenez scheduled to start. Troy Renck has a more complete wrapup of this afternoons game. Read here. Renck also shares with the fans Clint Hurdle’s thoughts on a few issues with some of the players on the team. Namely Helton and his back, Hirsh and his being sent down to minor league camp. Other thoughts are also shared on as Jeff Baker, Jhoulys Chacin and Garrett Atkins and his current injury.
My thoughts on the current state of the Rockies is this. They seem to have found a groove along with some confidnence that was definitely missing throughout the first 7 games of spring training and they also have consistency as a team with different players at different positions. Whether that will transfer over into the first couple of months of the regular season is yet to be seen.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports this afternoon a few players who have been reassigned to Rockies minor league camp. The most notable being Jason Hirsh. Eric Young Jr was also optioned to the minors, but I would expect we’ll probably see him at Coors Field at some point this season. For the rest of the list of optioned players click here.
From the “Another One Bites the Dust” files. The Tucson Citizen newspaper will too follow the path of our beloved Rocky Mountain News in closing. After 138 years the Tucson Citizen’s last day will be this Saturday March 21st. They weren’t the level of the Rocky Mountain News, but to their credit they did a pretty fair job of covering the Rockies during spring training.
The Rockies are currently leading the D’backs 5-3 in the 6th inning at Tucson Electric Park.
“It was a good day for him. Fastball command, down in the zone, command of both sides of the plate, and his complementary pitches were thrown for strikes,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said.”He’s not going to get it done every time, but we’re going to keep knocking on that door.” – Tucson Citizen
While I’m sure the Rockies were in awe of visiting the Dodgers at their new luxurious spring training home of Camelback Ranch, they didnt let the surroundings affect their play as they beat the Dodgers 9-5 behind a solid 3 inning start by Jorge De La Rosa. DLR in his last start gave up 5 runs, 4 hits on Tuesday against the Athletics.
Rockies: The Week Ahead – 3/16 @D’backs, 3/17 ROYALS, 3/18 OFF, 3/19 @ Dodgers, 3/20 RANGERS, 3/21 @ Rangers, 3/22 INDIANS
“These guys are going to be my friends until I die, no matter where I play, what team they’re on or what team I’m on,” Holliday said. “They’re my friends and it’s good to see them, no matter what the circumstances.” – Tucson Citizen
I know it’s only a spring training game to some, but should the Rockies keep scoring like that against the A’s and winning, Holliday may have to rethink his friendships with his former teammates. Rockies visit Oakland during the regular season in June 26-28 for interleague play.
Rockies are taking on the Cleveland Indians. It’s currently 0-0 in the 1st inning. The Rockies are going for their 5th win in a row after starting 0-7.
Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta played a major role in Team USA’s win over Venezuela with a bases clearing 3 run double in the 6th. Team USA rolled 15-6. How’s that for foreign policy Mr. Chavez?
Yankees Alex “Roid”riguez has been reported as having a successful surgery this morning and will be rehabbing in Vail.
The Rockies are off today from Cactus League play and will resume tomorrow against the Athletics at 1:10pm. Will Matt Holliday make the trip? The rest of the week is as follows.
Tues 2/10 Athletics, Wed 2/11 @ Indians, Thurs 2/12 @Angels, Fri 2/13 Giants, Sat 2/14 Mariners
The Rockies beat the Padres for the second time in three days to win their 3rd straight to go 3-7 this spring training. Helton debuts this spring training with a homerun in the 1st inning off Padres pitcher Chris Young. Greg Reynolds gets the win and Matt Belisle, the save. Attendance was just under 5000 with a lot of people I’m sure there to watch Helton’s spring training debut.
Team USA takes on Venezuela in a few minutes of the World Baseball Classic second round.
Athlon Sports has a surprisingly positive article on their season preview of the Rockies on foxsports.com. Article here. I say surprisingly because eveything I’ve read as far as previews in the print media has the Rox finishing 4th in the NL West. Though Athlon doesn’t mention in the article where they think the Rockies will finish, they do like their chances in a dismal NL West. It all boils down to pitching and the teams ability to remain healthy. But I will add they will need to have major contributions from more than just 2 or 3 players and they cant be in a 7-9 game deficit at the end of April. They will need to find ways to manufacture runs, but to do that you have to be able to get people on base first.
This afternoon the Rox finally got a much needed win, beating the Padres 13-11 in Peoria, AZ. Aaron Cook getting 6 strikeouts over 4 innings.
Off the Field… Troy Renck of the Denver Post is reporting that the Rockies have named Aaron Cook the opening day starter. I would have to ask the Rockies. What took you so long? Once Francis went down due to season ending surgery, all of Colorado knew who the opening day starter would be long before today’s announcement. Renck is also reporting that Todd Helton is scheduled to make his first appearance of the season this Sunday against the Padres at Hi Corbett. Helton is sure to get a nice round of applause from the fans. As baseball players are known as some of the most superstitious athletes in all of professional sports, I’m hoping Todd has shaved off his goatee as a symbol of a fresh new start on what I’m sure he hopes will be a much better season for himself and the team.
ON DECK for Saturday 3/6…. The Rockies face the Giants on the road at 1:05pm. Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta and the rest of Team USA will play Canada on Saturday in their first game of the World Baseball Classic at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Taylor Buchholz will be out for the next 4-6 weeks with a ligament strain in his throwing elbow. So what does this mean to the Rockies pitching staff exactly and to fans? Well for starters it will hurt his development for the upcoming season by not getting enough work in this spring in Tucson. If we’re looking at the prescribed timetable of 4-6 weeks then that takes us to anywhere from opening day to the second week of the season. Which unless the Rockies start the season 0-14 then the team should not be in a state of panic(crossing fingers). Someone else on the staff of course will have to step up and fill Buchholz’s role, Street, Corpas, Grilli, maybe even Rusch. I’m sure there are one or two others on the staff that will get a shot. I’m not really so in such a panic as some of the local media seems to be. Injuries happen and hopefully there will be no setbacks and he can recover quickly and rejoin the staff. Again we’re only talking about him missing maybe 2 weeks at least at the start of the season. It proposes a challenge for Hurdle and the pitching staff, but I think we have a numberof players who can readily step in a provide the needed help to the team. I’m wishing Taylor a speedy recovery!
Here are a few pictures of warmups, batting practice and the game against the Dodgers on 2/28.
Unfortunately the Dodgers went on to win the game, giving the Rockies their 4th straight loss of spring training. For more photos from this game click here.
First it was the economy and the stock market and now you can add the Rockies to that list of things in a downward spiral. The Rockies loss Tuesday to the Brewers now has them at 0-7. With a day off Wednesday, one positive was that the Rockies didn’t go 0-8 Wednesday afternoon.
Spring training as we all know is about finding out where certain players are in their development and whose talents will be best served at what level and putting the best product on the field at the beginning of the season. In saying all of that maybe there really isnt a need to worry right now with an 0-7 record. What happens during spring training doesnt always translate over into what will happen during the season.
I found it interesting watching the Cubs and White Sox game on WGN last night, that one of the first things mentioned was about the Rockies being 0-7 and whether or not Clint Hurdle is beginning to panic. Rockies will face the Cubs during spring training March 24th and 28th and in the regular season April 13-15 at Wrigley and at Coors August 7-10. Who knows? By August the Rockies could have a new manager.
Rockies face the Mexican National team this afternoon at Hi Corbett Field at 1:10pm.
Game 3 photos of spring training are now posted(see below). Game 4 photos against the Dodgers will be posted later today.
The first road game of the spring training season was up in Tempe against the Angels. I made my way up along I-10, with a quick stop before arriving at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Click here for more photos from game 3 Rockies vs Angels.
For more photos of spring training game 1 against the D’backs click here.