Results tagged ‘ Adrian Gonzalez ’

Rox roster decision highlights worth of early games

Rockies manager Jim Tracy faced an interesting call: Do the Rockies open a season against a Brewers club that has slugger Prince Fielder and a full group of other guys who swing from the left with one less left-handed reliever than normal?

Tracy answered that question Sunday. Even with the need for one more lefty, Tracy decided it wasn’t worth risking Joe Beimel’s health.

Beimel signed a Minor League deal with the club March 23 and pitched all of three innings in Spring Training. Beimel felt he was ready. He worked out at a high school near his home in California. When he arrived, he showed more bite on his slider than at any point last year, and didn’t give up a run or a hit in his three games.

But Tracy couldn’t get past the fact it was three games.

So Beimel will go to Tucson, Ariz., and possibly begin the season in the Minors. It’s the Spring Training he didn’t have. Right-handed prospect Esmil Rogers will handle the long relief role, and the bullpen will have to make due with only setup man Randy Flores and closer Franklin Morales throwing form the left.

Tracy said Beimel won’t have thrown enough to be activated when the Rockies open the home schedule Friday against the Padres at Coors. Beimel would be a nice guy to have in these early series. Fielder is 1-for-8 career and Padres slugger Adrian Gonzalez is 2-for-21 against Beimel.

But when it comes down to the manager weighing his health concerns against two early series, the decision is an easy one. We’re talking about a Rockies team that has gone to the playoffs two of the last three seasons by making stunning late-season runs.

Teams don’t make those when key components of the roster are needlessly pushed into potentially dangerous situations in April. The Rockies would like to perform better in the begining of the year, but not at that potential cost.

Plus, the roster has the flexibility to send Rogers down to Triple-A Colorado Springs once Beimel is ready. There’s no need to potentially lose a player the club needs when the roster move becomes necessary.

So this puts it all in perspective. It’s more important to not risk losing players, either to injury or off waivers, than it is to have a perfect Opening Day roster.

 

Losing the numbers game … updates on Corpas, Speier

The Rockies have outscored their opponents this season, 115-113. It’s not a dramatic difference, but one would think it would mean a better record than 9-14. It doesn’t.

One way to address it is to say it’s a fluke that’ll correct itself over time. But manager Clint Hurdle isn’t going that route. He freshly remembered the 2007 D-backs being outscored (732-712) yet winning the National League West.

Not only that, but Hurdle is not relying on the mantra of “it’s early” to explain the team’s issues, which have manifested themselves in an 0-7 record in one-run games and being shut out three times.

“I don’t say it’s early now,” Hurdle said. “I want us to play good baseball and I want us to focus on the things we need to play good baseball, so when they’re not happening we need to address them. And I think you can get away with it for the first couple weeks of the season. Then it’s time to move on, time to play better baseball.”

 

Rockies

Dexter Fowler                CF

Ryan Spilborghs            LF

Todd Helton                  1B

Garrett Atkins               3B

Brad Hawpe                  RF

Troy Tulowtizki              SS

Chris Iannetta                 C

Clint Barmes                 2B

Jorge De La Rosa           P

Padres

David Eckstein             2B

Brian Giles                  RF

Scott Hairston             CF

Adrian Gonzalez          1B

Chase Headley            LF

Kevin Kouzmanoff        3B

Henry Blanco               C

Luis Rodriguez            SS

Kevin Correia                P

– In a non-development, right-hander Manuel Corpas is still on the club. Of course, if he doesn’t pitch better, the possibility of a demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs looms large. Hurdle spoke in an encouraging tone about Corpas on Monday, however.

“He’s worked very hard on making those adjustments,” Hurdle said. “Guys go down and watch him in the bullpen, and you see what you want to see in the bullpen. It’s transferring it into the game, and we’ve had multiple conversations. We’ve coached him up, encouraged him on the value and significance of the role he has now. He’s been there. He’s done it. He can see it from a closer’s mentality.

“We’re at the point now where we’re going to have to find him a game here or there where we’re up or down a little bit where we remove him from the flame a little bit.”

– Righty releiver Ryan Speier said he felt good after throwing a simulated game Monday afternoon. Now it’s a matter of working on his lowered arm slot, which could take a few outings. He plans to go to the extended spring training in Tucson so he can throw without the risk of being hung with negative stats. That could take one, two or three games, then he’d be ready for an injury rehab assignment.

A great day to relax, and debate

Garrett Atkins started and batted cleanup in every game this season, until Wednesday afternoon. Dude had to rest at some point. But let’s debate the timing:

Position A — Atkins didn’t come through in a couple of key situations in Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss. Maybe a day off will do him good.

Position B — The best time to sit a player is after he succeeds. Let him sit with a smile. You don’t force him to dwell on failure. Atkins, after all, has a hit in his last give games and is batting .324 at home. If he doesn’t play today, it’ll be two days to stew over Tuesday’s disappointment.

Here is today’s lineup:

Padres

Jody Gerut                CF

Luis Rodirguez          SS

Brian Giles                RF

Adrian Gonzalez        1B

Chase Headley          LF

Kevin Kouzmanoff      3B

Edgar Gonzalez         2B

Henry Blanco              C

Kevin Correia              P

Rockies

Dexter Fowler           CF

Seth Smith               LF

Ryan Spilborghs       RF

Todd Helton             1B

Ian Stewart              3B

Troy Tulowitzki         SS

Clint Barmes            2B

Chris Iannetta            C

Aaron Cook              P

– OK, got note from Noah Huntsman saying my accidental omission of Brad Hawpe from the lineup the other night angered the gods and, boom, Hawpe took a throw to the neck. Oops. Well, the saving grace is Brad Hawpe isn’t blaming me. Sorry.

– Today was a career first. As I entered the park, three fans stopped me. One was carrying writer Tony DeMarco’s remarkable book, Tales from the Colorado Rockies, and two others wree carrying baseball bats. All wanted me to sign. I truly appreciated it. The value of those items may depreciate on the count of the signature, but still …

– Finally, please take a look at my piece on Rockies rookie phenom Dexter Fowler. It was fun to write.

Snow, snow, gone away

Is Troy Tulowitzki simply a poor April hitter or is something seriously wrong? Can someone other than Jason Marquis consistently pitch the Rockies deep into games? What will the press meal be at Coors Field? These are a sports writer’s thoughts in the middle of the night. So I woke up at 2:25 a.m. and saw snow covering my yard and car. Woke up at a normal human hour and saw more flakes falling.

Yet, this is Denver. Each time I went outside, I needed to bundle a little less. We have baseball tonight. All questions will be answered eventually.

And the meal was Mexican.

Here are the lineups for Rockies vs. Padres:

Padres

Jody Gerut               CF

David Eckstein         2B

Brian Giles              RF

Adrian Gonzalez      1B

Chase Headley        LF

Kevin Kouzmanoff    3B

Nick Hundley            C

Luis Rodriguez        SS

Chris Young             P

Rockies

Dexter Fowler         CF

Ryan Spilborghs     LF

Todd Helton           1B

Garrett Atkins        3B

Ian Stewart            2B

Clint Barmes         SS

Chris Iannetta         C

Jason Hammel       P 

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