Gobble looks to make impact

Rockies non-roster left-hander Jimmy Gobble, who has appeared in the Majors each of the last seven seasons, struck out Padres non-roster catcher Mitch Canham in a left-on-left matchup to end Monday’s 5-4 victory.

Gobble said he set Canham up with an outside changeup, then threw a slider that caught the inside part of the plate. It was the type of pitching that Tracy said could be useful to the Rockies this season.

“The left-on-right is fun to watch while we’re out here, but the left-on-left is what I’m really interested in watching,” Tracy said. “I was very interested in the manner in which he handled the last hitter with two outs in the ninth inning.”

Gobble broke in with the Royals as a starter, but much of his career has been spent as a reliever. His performance against lefty batters has become intriguing. He held left-handed hitters to a .200 batting average in 2008 with the Royals and .227 last year with the White Sox, both in a limited number of appearances.

Gobble said Bob McClure, his pitching coach with the Royals, suggested he show come to camp each year not afraid to use his secondary pitches. In addition to the slider and the changeup, he has a fastball with cutting action.

“Before, I was fastball, fastball, fastball, but now I do try to get to my slider in favorable counts to me, to put it in a position to try to get a strikeout,” Gobble said. “But I’ve had a lot of trouble the past couple of years because I haven’t done that.”

Two outings into this spring, Gobble has thrown two hitless innings with two strikeouts and a walk, so his plan is working so far. Whether that means a 25-man roster spot at the end of the spring is not what he’s trying to control.

“I’ve been around long enough to know that if you pitch well, somebody will see you,” Gobble said. “I want to be here. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the organization. I was very happy my path has crossed through here.

“I feel like if they think I can help this team in any way, shape or form, whether it be September or April, it doesn’t matter. I just want to be here to help.” 


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