Results tagged ‘ Chris Iannetta ’

Strong group to face Dodgers

No one can accuse the Rockies of not using a representative lineup on Tuesday against the Dodgers at Glendale.

In additoin to projected Opening Day starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, the Rockies’ roster for the bus trip includes catcher Chris Iannetta, second baseman Clint Barmes, third baseman Ian Stewart, and outfielders Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez, Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs.

Split-squad Sunday

The Rockies are playing at Hi Corbett Field and at Tucson Electric Park, against the D-backs in both games.

Here is the lineup fro the game at Hi Corbett:

Eric Young Jr., 2B

Clint Barmes, SS

Carlos Gonzalez, CF

Miguel Olivo, C

Melvin Mora, 3B

Michael Paulk, 1B

Cole Garner, RF

Jay Payton, LF

Aaron Cook, RHP

Here’s the rest of the pitching: RHP Samuel Deduno, LHP Christian Friedrich, RHP Manuel Corpas, LHP Randy Flores.

Here is the lineup for the game at TEP

Dexter Fowler, CF

Omar Quintanilla, 2B

Seth Smith, LF

Ryan Spilborghs, RF

Ian Stewart, 3B

Chris Iannetta, C

Hector Gomez, SS

Jeff Kindel, 1B

Franklin Morales, LHP

Here is the rest of the pitching schedule: RHP Juan Nicasio, RHP Andrew Graham, RHP Juan Rincon, RHP Justin Speier, LHP Matt Reynolds.

 

Rockies fundamentally sharp from the start

Eric Young Jr. led off the Rockies’ Cactus League opener by establishing that he and the club will hustle. Young landed a soft hit in front of D-backs right fielder Justin Upton, and didn’t think twice about going for two bases. One weak throw later, and the Rockies were in business.

Then veteran Paul Lo Duca dropped a surprise bunt and beat pitcher Billy Buckner to first base.

The hustle and attention to detail continued until the Rockies had an 11-1 victory at Tucson Electric Park over a D-backs team that, well, looked like it needed some time to get sharp.

“We’ve been back there [at Hi Corbett Field] working on a lot of stuff, and I’m just really pleased,” Tracy said. “We did a lot of positive things that are related to what’s going on.”

With two out and two on in the third, Seth Smith doubled and Chris Iannetta singled with two strikes, and Ian Stewart and Jonathan Herrera added singles to complete a two-run inning. The Rockies were crisp defensively. On the bases, Stewart was picked off second bay D-backs catcher Miguel Montero when he strayed too far from the bag on a ball in the dirt. But that was a mistake by a player trying to be aggressive, so Tracy had no problem with that.

Tracy has said the result of every game of Spring Training is not important, but the intensity and the intelligence with which the Rockies played Thursday are required.

“It’s a Spring Training game, yes, and there are things that we’re looking to see, there are decisions that you make that you’re not going to make during the season because of things that you want to see,” Tracy said. “But you play the game the way you want to play the game from April 5 [Opening Day at Milwaukee] hopefully through the end of October.

“As I told them, we’re going to play every pitch of every game. And if we don’t do that, whoever it is, we’re going to talk about it.”

That’s where right-hander Jason Hammel comes in. In the bottom of the second, Brandon Allen tripled to right-center. The throw to third base bounced past Stewart, but Hammel wasn’t in position to back up the play. Luckily for Hammel and the Rockies, the ball stayed in play and Allen stayed at third.

Hammel’s gaffe didn’t escape the notice of Tracy, who smiled and said, “It’s already been taken care of.

Hammel got the message.

“You have to remember the little things to make big things happen, and unfortunately I didn’t do my part on one — backing up third base,” Hammel said, even though he wasn’t asked about it. “But that won’t happen again. I was snoozing on that one.”

Tracy said he will point out the rare mistakes with pitch selection during the game and keep emphasizing various points.

Time to get started

It’s time to turn on the radio and dream of a regular season ahead. The Rockies will open Cactus League play today at 1:05 p.m. against the D-backs at Tucson Electric Park. Here is the Rockies’ lineup.

2B Eric Young Jr.

1B Paul Lo Duca

CF Carlos Gonzalez

RF Ryan Spilborghs

LF Seth Smith

C Chris Iannetta

3B Ian Stewart

SS Jonathan Herrera

RHP Jason Hammel

Here is the rest of the Rockies’ pitching schedule for today: LHP Jorge De La Rosa, RHP Manuel Corpas, RHP Juan Rincon and LHP Franklin Morales. The backups, in case any pitcher struggles, are right-handers Alberto Alburquerque, Shane Lindsay, Edgmer Escalona and Andrew Johnston.

D-backs pitchers will be RHP Billy Buckner, RHP T.J. Beam, RHP Bob Howry, LHP Tom Layne and RHP Leo Rosales. 

 

Roster set for Cactus League opener

With the Rockies having to play split-squad games in Scottsdale and Tempe on Friday, several frontline players are getting the day off Thursday when the Cactus League schedule opens against the D-backs at Tucson Electric Park.

Making the short trip across Tucson will be both projected catchers, Chris Iannetta and Miguel Olivo, third baseman Ian Stewart, and outfielders Carlos Gonzalez, Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs. That means first baseman Todd Helton, second baseman Clint Barmes, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, center fielder Dexter Fowler and right fielder Brad Hawpe won’t make it.

Fowler returned to the club after missing two days with a stomach bug. Fowler said he didn’t lose more than a pound or so, but the Rockies told him to take it easy while working out Wednesday and gradually rebuild stamina. Hawpe also is working into condition after missing four days early in camp with an infected ingrown toenail.

Melvin Mora and Eric Young Jr., utility players who will be used in the infield and outfield, will make the trip. Manager Jim Tracy said early in the spring Mora would play third base, where he played last year for the Orioles, but he’ll be worked into other positions, including the outfield and first base. Young played left field in Monday’s intrasquad game, and will see time at third base and center field in addition to his natural positoin of second.

Tracy sifting through catching depth

Rockies manager Jim Tracy is planning on a catching combination, not a catching controversy, with Chris Iannetta and Miguel Olivo.

We have two quality guys that are both going to catch,” Tracy said. “And as we move into the season, we have two quality guys that are both going to catch. And I really believe if we do it that way, we’re going to get the best of both worlds.”

In Spring Training, Tracy is looking beyond the two the team is planning on having on the Opening Day roster.

“We have a veteran presence in Paul Phillips, who did some special things for a good team a year ago, and Paul Lo Duca is in here,” Tracy said. “Not only do you want to feel comfortable with where you are at as you go into Opening Day, but that is a very demanding position. You’re also making sure that you have your optional plans in place, too.”

Discussions of third and fourth catchers when a team is going to have just two might seem trivial. But last year’s two catchers, Yorvit Torrealba and Iannetta, weren’t available for an 11-game win streak that ignited the run to the playoffs. Torrealba was dealing with the kidnapping of his son in Venezuela and Iannetta was out with a hamstring injury.

“Edwin Bellorin [now with the Royals] and Paul Phillips were doing an awful lot of catching,” Tracy said. “We had a four-hit game by Paul Phillips in St. Louis, and one of a little bit of everything — a hit-and-run base hit, a line drive, we used the whole playbook on him, and he responded to all of it. And Bellorin caught a tremendous game in Game 4 of the series against Houston.”

Rockies sign Olivo

The Rockies increased their power quotient at the catching position by signing Miguel Olivo to a one-year deal with a club option for 2011. Olivo, 31, who hit 23 homers and drove in 65 runs while hitting .249 for the Royals last year, and has finished the last four years in double figures in homers, joins Chris Iannetta. The Rockies signed Iannetta, who has 34 homers the last two seasons, to a three-year deal last month.

Olivo became a possibility when the Rockies and Yorvit Torrealba could not agree on a two-year deal. Torrealba had been with the Rockies — as the on-again, off-again No. 1 catcher — since 2006, and was a major factor in the team’s trip to the World Series in 2007 and the playoffs in 2009.

Olivo, 31, enhanced his defensive reputation last year by catching 31 of American league Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke’s 33 starts. Olivo also caught Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez’s 10-strikeout, four-inning game for the Dominican Republic against The Netherlands in last year’s World Baseball Classic.

Here is the full story.

 

Catching competition is a good thing

Yorvit Torrealba wants to stay with the Rockies. The Rockies want him. A two-year deal in the $5 million to $5.5 million range is close to happening, possibly as soon as today.

The Rockies have stated that they want Chris Iannetta to add high average to his proven power, and hope to sign him to a multi-year deal to show how much they want that to happen. However, manager Jim Tracy doesn’t sound like a man who is going to just give Iannetta the catching job and not give Torrealba a chance to be the man again.

You know what? I like competition,” Tracy said Wednesday. “When you’re a good baseball team and you have interest in being a

good baseball team consistently year in and year out, I don’t like the term entitlement or the sense of it to filter into our clubhouse.

Iannetta, Rox talk multi-year deal

The Rockies’ maintained faith in catcher Chris Iannetta despite his struggles in 2009. They’re backing that faith in contract talks.

 

General manager Dan O’Dowd said Monday that the Rockies are discussing several contract structures, including a multi-year deal, with the arbitration-eligible Iannetta. The Rockies are also talking about more than one year with two other arbitration-eligible players — closer Huston Street and second baseman Clint Barmes.

 

The latter two were known to be discussing multiyear deals, but O’Dowd revealed the talks with Iannetta during Monday’s first day of the MLB Winter Meetings.

 

The club continues to talk to catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who is a free agent who is testing the market to find a more favorable contract structure and playing opportunity. But the priority is Iannetta, who hit .264 with a .440 slugging percentage in 2008 but hit .228 last year and lost playing time (despite a .460 slugging percentage) to Torrealba in 2009.

 

Left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, coming off a career year (16-9, 4.38 ERA), will be signed to a one-year deal. De La Rosa will be eligible for free agency after 2010. With a good year, he not only will be in line for a big contract but could find himself a Type B free agent. That would give him added leverage and allow the Rockies to receive a pick in the 2011 Draft as compensation should he leave.

Facing ‘The Freak’

The Rockies are playing the machup game against Giants stalwart right-hander Tim Lincecum on Sunday afternoon.

Chris Iannetta is 6-for-9 with a home run and two doubles in his career against Lincecum. The unlikely starter is Omar Quintanilla (.174)who not only is 5-for-17 (.417) with an RBI. It’s just his fifth start of the season.

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