Results tagged ‘ Chad Tracy ’

Rockies deem Arenado not quite ready

The Rockies determiend that their top prospect, third baseman Nolan Arenado, is not yet ready.

Arenado, who turns 21 on April 16, was one of six players sent out of Major League camp on Friday. The Rockies wanted to take a long look at him in camp but were careful not to put pressure on him to break with the big club. Arenado had his moments, but also hit .192 with four doubles and five RBIs in 12 games.

Making it to the Majors would have been a push for Arenado, the club’s second-round Draft pick in 2009 out of El Toro (Calif.) High School. The team invited him to camp as a non-roster player after a big 2011 season — he hit .298 with 20 home runs and led Minor Leaguers with 122 RBIs at Class-A Modesto, and followed that up by earning Most Valuable Player honors in the Arizona Fall League. The Rockies did not announce the level of the Minors that Arenado would begin this season.

Officially, the Rockies optioned Arenado and right-handed Zach Putnam to the Minors and reassigned non-roster right-handed pither Carlos Torres, first baseman Chad Tracy (son of manager Jim Tracy) and outfielder Tim Wheeler — another highly regarded prospect, who hit .263 with a home run and two RBIs in 14 games.

The Rockies had earlier optioned infielder DJ LeMahieu to the Minors but kept him with the big club; however, on Saturday LeMahieu was reassigned to Minor League camp.

The Rockies still have 39 players in big-league camp, including six non-roster invitees.

Big day for Rockies’ Moscoso in Tucson

The Rockies and Padres are gearing up for a Spring Training exhibition at Kino Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. — the place known as Tucson Electric Park back when the Rockies played there. This is the game that was called off because of bad weather a few days ago. This is big for Tucson, which lost all of its teams a couple of years ago. The fans should have a chance to see many members of the Triple-A Tucson Padres.

It’s even bigger for Rockies right-hander Guillermo Moscoso, who is fighting for a spot on the Rockies’ pitching staff and trending upward.

Moscoso, 28, obtained along with lefty Josh Outman from the Athletics for outfielder Seth Smith during the offseason, struggled in his frist two Cactus League appearances. He gave up four runs on five hits and two walks against the Cubs in his first appearance, and one run but four hits and a walk against the White Sox the next time he pitched. Granted, he was more concerned with putting pitches over the plate than anything else, but trying to make the team and possibly the starting rotation calls for more than that.

But Moscoso delievered in his last outing, throwing three scoreless innings against the Reds, striking out three and holding them to one hit and no walks. It looks as if rotation spots will go to Jeremy Guthrie, Jhoulys Chacin, Drew Pomeranz and, it seems likely, Juan Nicasio, who is making a dramatic return from a broken neck. Moscoso appears to be battling power pitcher Tyler Chatwood and 49-year-old lefty Jamie Moyer. A righty, Alex White, is in the mix; White will pitch in Tucson today. Outman was affected by the weather earlier in he week and needs to rebuild his stamina, so he might be more in line for a bullpen job.

Moscoso can work out of the rotation and the bullpen. If he continues to gain steam, he gives the Rockies a versatile arm.

Here is the lineup for the Rockies today in Tucson:

Eric Young Jr., CF

Jonathan Herrera, SS

Jordan Pacheco, C

Chad Tracy, 1B

Tyler Colvin, RF

Chris Nelson, 3B

Charlie Blackmon, LF

DJ LeMahieu, 2B

Guillermo Moscoso, RHP

Don’f forget, the Rockies will face the Giants at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick tonight, with Moyer pitching. Guthrie will pitch in a nighttime Minor League game at the complex.

Chacin leads Rockies against Royals

Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin’s spring devoted to fastball command continues today as he starts for the Rockies, and most likely goes three innings, against the Royals at Surprise Stadium. Also, fast-working lefty Christian Friedrich will appear, on the heels of his two scoreless innings with one hit and two strikeouts against the D-backs five days ago. Friedrich entered camp as a darkhorse candidate for the starting rotation, and has been impressive.

Center fielder Dexter Fowler is the only clear starter in the lineup, but the game is a big one because several players seeking key reserve roles made the trip.

Rockies batting order

Eric Young Jr., LF

Dexter Fowler, CF

Charlie Blackmon, RF

Brandon Wood, SS

Nolan Arenado, 3B

Chad Tracy, 1B

Chris Nelson, 2B

Brendan Harris, DH

Wil Nieves, C

Rockies pitchers

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP

Christian Friedrich, LHP

Rex Brothers, LHP

Matt Belisle, RHP

Joe Gardner, RHP

Dustin Molleken, RHP

Stephen Dodson, RHP

Royals batting order

Alex Gordon, LF

Johnny Giavotella, 2B

Eric Hosmer, 1B

Billy Butler, DH

Mike Moustakas, 3B

Jeff Francoeur, RF

Lorenzo Cain, CF

Alcides Escobar, SS

Royals pitchers

Luis Mendoza, RHP

Joakim Soria, RHP

Sean O’Sullivan, RHP

Tim Collins, LHP

Noel Arguelles, LHP

Pomeranz leads Rockies vs. Royals; also, Rox face M’s in B game

Rockies left-hander Drew Pomeranz hopes to build on his scoreless two innings in the team’s Cactus League opener, a 1-1 tie with the D-backs on Friday afternoon, when he faces the Royals today. Fans can see the contest via a webcast. The game will start at 1:10 p.m. at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Felipe Paulino, formerly with the Rockies, will pitch for Kansas City.

Additionally, the Rockies and Mariners will play a B game at Salt River Fields at 10 a.m. on Field 1, which is just beyond the right-field corner of the main stadium.

Here is the Rockies’ batting order for the main game:

Dexter Fowler, CF

Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Jordan Pacheco, 1B

Jason Giambi, DH

Ramon Hernandez, C

Tyler Colvin, RF

Casey Blake, 3B

Chris Nelson, SS

Tim Wheeler, LF

Here is the pitching plan:

Drew Pomeranz, LHP

Josh Outman, LHP

Matt Belisle, RHP

Edgmer Escalona, RHP

Dustin Molleken, RHP

Edwar Cabrera, LHP

Joe Gardner, RHP

Here is the Rockies’ lineup for the the B game against the Mariners:

Eric Young Jr., 2B

Brendan Harris, RF

Brandon Wood, 3B

Chad Tracy, 1B

Ben Paulsen, DH

Andrew Brown, LF

DJ LeMahieu, SS

Jamie Hoffmann, CF

Lars Davis, C

Here is the pitching plan for the B game:

Rob Scahill, RHP

Carlos Torres, RHP

Josh Sullivan, RHP

Mike Ekstrom, RHP

Josh Roenicke, RHP

Keeping it simple for Chacin, who debuts today

Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin’s 2011 season started in glowing fashion, when he held opposing batters to a .201 batting average before the All-Star break. By the end, everything seemed complicated. The Rockies dealt former ace pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez at the trading deadline, and it wasn’t simply enough to pitch. While never asked by his club, there was an implied requirement that he become an “ace,” not just a strong pitcher but a leader and face of the pitching staff.

Manager Jim Tracy’s goal going into 2012 is to make sure Chacin focuses on one simple task that makes everything else possible — repeat his delivery. Repeating the delivery allows him to spot his fastball, which makes his tremendous secondary pitches useful.

The Rockies’ signing of 49-year-old Jamie Moyer, who has a quarter-century on Chacin, and the trade with the Orioles for in-his-prime starter Jeremy Guthrie pretty much takes any leadership burden off Chacin’s shoulders. General manager Dan O’Dowd questioned Chacin’s conditioning before camp began, but Tracy

So Chacin makes his Cactus League debut today against the D-backs at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, and Tracy is telling him to keep it simple.

“I did have a conversation with him in this office,” Tracy said. “It goes back to taking this opportunity in Spring Training to work on his delivery and repeating it, not getting into jerking and stuff like that, where his fastball starts to run away from him. He’s working on pounding his fastball for strikes.

“I personally feel, and you’ve heard me talk about this a lot last year, that if there’s one guy in this camp who can do what we saw last year with an Ian Kennedy [with the D-backs], a guy that is capable of taking a quantum leap, to me it’s Jhoulys Chacin, with much-improved fastball command.”

Here is the Rockies’ lineup, updated with Troy Tulowitzki being scratched because of illness:

Eric Young Jr., CF

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Jason Giambi, DH

Jordan Pacheco, C

Charlie Blackmon, RF

Nolan Arenado, 3B

Chad Tracy, 1B

Jonathan Herrera, SS

A former Rockies top Draft pick, lefty Christian Friedrich, is scheduled to pitch after Chacin. Friedrich, taken 25th overall in 2008, struggled to 6-10 with a 5.00 ERA in 25 starts at Double-A Tulsa last year. But injuries affected his 2010 season and his preparation for 2011. This past winter, he spent time working out with the Phillies’ Cliff Lee, and the Rockies have placed his Spring Training locker beside that of Moyer. Friedrich is in better physical shape, and said the veterans have offered him a high level of information.

Veteran reliever Matt Belisle also is scheduled to throw.

Atkins the only Rockies non-tender

As expected, the Rockies parted ways with third baseman Garrett Atkins, who struggled to .226 batting average and lost his starting position to Ian Stewart in 2009. Atkins was the only arbitration-eligible Rockies player the club did not tender a contract offer before Saturday’s 10 p.m. deadline or doing so.

The Rockies will turn their attention to players to fill a bench role, one Atkins fell into last season. The Rockies are looking at right-handed hitters Jamey Carroll, Nick Green, Melvin Mora and Fernando Tatis and Robb Quinlan, and probably will see some more on the market. Left-handed hitters Jason Giambi, who helped the team down the stretch last season, and Chad Tracy also intrigue the Rockies.

No patience with walks

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle has attempted to maintain a consistent and calm demeanor, even though the execution and fundamentals the Rockies emphasized all spring have been lacking. But that patience disappears when relievers can’t throw strikes in the late innings of close games.

Huston Street lost his closer job that way last week at Wrigley Field. Tuesday night, Hurdle unceremoniously yanked righty setup man Jason Grilli when he walked two in the eighth inning of the 9-6 victory over the D-backs.

There would have been cause for Hurdle to try to let Grilli escape. By using lefty Alan Embree to complete the inning, Hurdle left himself with only Manuel Corpas to finish the game. The only other reliever on the squad, Jason Hammel, had thrown two innings the previous game, and Franklin Morales’ injury early in Tuesday’s game meant Hammel was going to move into the starting rotation.

But he was not going to lose a game because Grilli wasn’t throwing strikes.

“We’ve got no time for walks late in ballgames,” Hurdle said. “Nobody. We’re not going to put up with that. If you can’t throw the ball over the plate late in a ballgame, I’ve got to get somebody else. It’s that simple.

“If you want more, and you’ve got an opportunity to do more but you walk two left-handed batters and you’re missing on your arm side six or seven straight pitches, I’ve got to go get you. He knows that.

“You saw the guy two nights ago, then you saw the guy last night. I asked him, ‘Which guy are you?’ That’s part of the challenge that’s in front of him. If you want more, do more.”

Here are the lineups for Wednesday afternoon:

Rockies

Ryan Spilborghs              CF

Jeff Baker                        2B

Todd Helton                     1B

Garrett Atkins                  3B

Brad Hawpe                     RF

Troy Tulowitzki                SS

Chris Iannetta                   C

Seth Smith                      LF

Jorge De La Rosa              P

D-backs

Felipe Lopez                   2B

Stephen Drew                 SS

Conor Jackson                LF

Mark Reynolds               3B

Chad Tracy                    1B

Chris Young                   CF

Eric Byrnes                    RF

Chris Snyder                   C

Dan Haren                      P

Cook and Webb — one of these pitchers is much like the other

The grass at Chase Field could take a beating with sinkerballers Aaron Cook starting for the Rockies and Brandon Webb starting for the D-backs.

One of the reasons Webb won the National League Cy Young Award in 2006 and won 22 games last year, however, is he showed he could pitch without his sinker. Cook grew in that respect last year, when he qualified for his first All-Star Game, and he’s continued that this spring.

“He’s a sinkerball pitcher who can pitch to contact anytime he wants, but he was able to incorporate his curveball and last year his changeup,” Cook said. “That’s something I really worked on, not to be like him but to be a better pitcher and give myself more options — use my slider, use my curveball, use my changeup, then all of a sudder the hitter can’t just worry about one pitch.”

Cook’s biggest challenge is D-backs left-handed hitting third baseman Chad Tracy, who has blistered him to the tune of 17-of-33 (.515) with eight doubles and six RBIs. Tracy has hit Cook’s sinker as well as his off-speed pitches. Actually, D-backs catcher Chris Snyder has hit Cook more frequently (12-for-21, .571) with a double and a homer.

 

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