Tracy pleased with intrasquad game
With a few exceptions, the Rockies’ intrasquad game on Monday was devoted to seeing younger players, those who won’t be factors at the start of the season.
But a Rockies team that used right-hander Jhoulys Chacin and utility man Eric Young Jr. during the late-season playoff run, and used center fielder Dexter Fowler all year when they originally expected him to go to Triple-A doesn’t take intrasquad games early in camp lightly.
“I really believe that anytime you go into a season and think you have a chance to be a successful club, you know you need more than 25 to do it with,” Tracy said. “All these kids have to realize that they are Rockies.”
Here are some intrasquad highlights:
— Catcher Wilin Rosario knocked the game’s only home run, a solo shot to left in the seventh against right-hander Craig Baker. Rosario also doubled and scored in the third inning.
Rosario, who played at Class-A Modesto last year, is in his second Major League Spring Training.
“The goal last year was to wet his feet, let him see what this is like,” Tracy said. “He’s growing very quickly.”
— The two starting pitchers, both of whom could be factors at the Major League level, Samuel Deduno and Chaz Roe, each threw two scoreless innings and gave up one hit. Deduno, the Texas League pitcher of the year last season at Double-A Tulsa, walked two but froze starting Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart for a strikeout. Roe, who also pitched at Tulsa last season, struck out one and didn’t walk any.
— Center fielder Chris Frey, who has played the last two seasons at Triple-A Colorado Springs, made a diving catch on a Michael Paulk drive. “I don’t know that you’ll see a much better play made the entire spring,” Tracy said.
— Tracy said shortstop prospect Hector Gomez, who has battled injury throughout his career but played to positive reviews in the Arizona Fall League in 2009, displayed a “plus-plus arm,” meaning well-above average among Major Leaguers.
— Right-hander Juan Nicasio, who went 9-3 at Class-A Asheville last season, walked three in one-plus innings, and had to leave the game because he pulled back the nail on his right middle finger and could not control the ball.
— Righty reliever Andrew Johnston, who earned 31 saves at Tulsa last season, gave up two hits and an unearned run in one inning. Tracy liked how Johnston reacted to misfortune.
“We made a boo-boo to start the inning and then there was a seeing-eye groundball down the third-base line, but every sinker that he threw that was hit, was hit on the ground,” Tracy said. “You look for things like that and say to yourself a kid with that type of moxie that you know in the Minor Leagues is pitching the ninth inning, as you move forward that’s a very interesting guy. You wonder, ‘I wonder what that would look like in the middle innings, or the sixth or seventh inning, at the Major League level.'”
— Tracy also liked lefty Matt Reynolds, who has a 2.65 ERA in three professional seasons. Reynolds threw a perfect inning. “That’s a neat arm,” Tracy said. “He’s a big man, and people told me early in the spring about his deception. I can see where the deception comes from. It’s a big man with a very quick arm.”