Results tagged ‘ Clint Barmes ’

Helton: King of the scoopers

The Rockies’ strategy for pitching is based on attacking the strike zone with the fastball. The theory is the defense is so dependable, the only plays that can’t be stopped are the walk and the home run.

Third baseman Ian Stewart, shortstoop Troy Tulowitzki and second baseman Clint Barmes are bigger than average and tranaslate size into range. But one of the unsung advantages is they don’t have to be perfect with their throws because of first baseman Todd Helton’s ability to handle low throws.

I remember mentioning this last year, but here is the final 2009 stat from ACTA Sports:

Player                                  Scoops              Attempts    Pct.

Todd Helton, Col.                      183                    207          88.4

Adam La Roche, Pit.-Bos.-Atl.   182                    210          86.7

Albert Pujols, St.L.                    187                   217           86.2

Paul Konerko, CWS                  197                    231          85.3

Derrek Lee, ChC                       145                    171          84.8

Lance Berkman, Hou.                170                   201           84.6

Lyle Overbay, Tor                       211                   250          84.4

Casey Kotchman, Atl.-Bos.        134                   159           84.3    

Beimel en route; here’s the lineup

Left-hander Joe Beimel, who reached a Minor League agreement with the club yesterday to join a competitive bullpen association, is scheduled to arrive in Tucson later this morning.

In the meantime, manager Jim Tracy has posted a lineup that, save for the pitcher, looks like something you’d see on Opening Day.

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Dexter Fowler, CF

Todd Helton, 1B

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Brad Hawpe, RF

Chris Iannetta, C

Ian Stewart, 3B

Clint Barmes, 2B

Jason Hammel, RHP

Two catchers who have been injured recently, Paul Lo Duca (right arm strain) and Paul Phillips (right calf strain) are listed as available on the lineup card. Lo Duca said if he plays defensively, it’ll be at first base.

Righty reliever Rafael Betancourt will make his first appearance of the spring after battling shoulder tightness, and lefty Randy Flores will return after being hit on the throwing forearm by a line drive six days ago.

De La Rosa getting early start; other notes

Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa is ready for 2010. And he’s in regular-season form almost 2 1/2 months earlier than last year.

De La Rosa held the Reds to one run — a first-inning leadoff home run by Drew Stubbs — in 5 1/3 innings of the Rockies’ 9-1 victory on Monday afternoon. De La Rosa struck out five, gave up three hits and walked one.

It’s a dramatic improvement from the struggles of last spring, when he went 2-2 with a 6.86 ERA in six starts. He followed that with an 0-6 start through April and May, but finished 16-9. Through five starts this spring, De La Rosa is 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA, 16 strikeouts and four walks.

“I started slow last year but I always believed that we would have a good team,” De La Rosa said. “Now, I don’t put pressure on myself. Now I know you can’t put pressure on yourself. I’ve got to go out there, enjoy the game and throw strikes.”

Most significant about the outing was the Reds went with a lineup that conceivably could take the field on Opening Day.

“They’ve got a very good lineup,” De La Rosa said. “If I face them during the season, now I know more.”

Concern over whether De La Rosa would bounce back from something like the leadoff homer is old news. He doesn’t let that bother him. But manager Jim Tracy took time to appreciate how far De La Rosa has come.

“There was a time early last year when that would be a rallying point,” Tracy said. “You’re sitting there immediately after one hitter wondering where is this start going to go. He was just like, ‘Hey, give me anther ball. Let’s get back to work.'”

– Righty Manuel Corpas, who has been up and down for most of the spring, had a smooth seventh inning. he gave up a one-out, Juan Francisco single, but nothing else. Corpas fanned Wladimir Balentien to end the frame.

Tracy said he hasn’t given up on the idea of Corpas being in the closer mix. Left-hander Franklin Morales has pitched better, and he handled the role well when Huston Street was injured last September. Street will begin this season on the disabled list with shoulder tightness.

Tracy said he hasn’t committed to anything yet, and he doesn’t need to until closer to the season. Before making decisions, he wants to see consistency out of Corpas.

“There’s enough time left this spring where you hope there’s a leveling off, where we see a couple of more times like we just saw today,” Tracy said.

– Matt Belisle had his fifth scoreless appearance of the spring. Monday’s was significant because he had one day off after his previous outing. Belisle has been bothered by forearm stiffness, so pitching well with reduced risk is a positive development.

“I can still hear the ball,” Tracy said. “You hear what I said? I can still hear it coming out of his hand. I’ve seen the same guy the last three times out. ‘Here I am, coming after you, punding the zone.’ “

– Minor League infielder Brad Eldred homered twice on Monday, and has three homers in three Spring Training appearances.

Eldred played for Tracy with the Pirates a few years back, and provides depth in the corners.

“I’m familiar with him and his style, really like him a lot, and the experience I had for a short time a few years ago,” Eldred said. “Hopefully, we can get back together again.

“He told me before the game that I was going to play all nine. He said to make sure I get my swings in. I made the most of it.”

– Second baseman Clint Barmes knocked his second homer of the spring, a two-run shot in the third inning off Bronson Arroyo. Barmes is hitting .344 this spring.

– Infielder Chris Nelson, playing shortstop, made a diving catch of a line drive and fashioned a game-ending double play in the ninth inning. Nelson was sent to Minor League camp on Sunday but made the bus trip.

– Infielder Jonathan Herrera also made a diving catch at third base. After entering as a reserve, Herrera went 1-fof-1 with a double and a walk after entering as a reserve. Herrera, a non-roster invitee, is hitting .421 this spring, and has made good defensive plays in the infield and outfield.

– Catching prospect Jordan Pacheco knocked a three-run double in the seventh, and has driven in seven runs in seven games.

 

Francis has bright spots in rough start

Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis’ stat line was rough — six runs, four earned, and six hits in four innings of Saturday’s 11-10 victory over the Angels.

In the second, Francis gave up four doubles in a five-batter stretch. Third baseman Melvin Mora spent that inning diving toward the line at hard-hit balls and coming up with nothing. That as because Francis was missing low with his breaking ball and changeup, and hitters were sitting on a fastball that isn’t sharp yet.

But it wasn’t cause for depression.

Francis struck out Robb Quinlan with the bases loaded and one out in the first. He forced Terry Evans into a grounder to shortstop Clint Barmes; however, second baseman Jonathan Herrera lost Barmes’ potentially inning-ending throw in the glare of the metal bleachers and two runs scored.

After the rough second inning, Francis pitched scoreless ball in the third and fourth. He finished with five strikeouts.

Francis realizes he’s still regaining his sharpness after missing last season because of left shoulder surgery.

“Today wasn’t as good as the last time, but I’ve come a long way since the first time out,” he said. “I keep doing things in between starts to help me.

“I can take those last two innings and look at them and say I battled pretty good with not having everything in my pocket.”

Manager Jim Tracy commended Francis on battling through his inconsistencies.

“There’s a lesson to be learned from this,” Tracy said. “I spoke a lot about this last year. You’re not going to be perfect every time you go out there. Figure something out to try to keep us hanging in there, and keep us in the game.”

Francis has two more Cactus League starts. However, with an early day off in the regular schedule, the Rockies have the option of keeping Francis in Tucson for a little more work before he’s needed in the rotation.

 

LoDuca OK after arm injury; lineups

Non-roster catcher Paul Lo Duca suffered an undetermined arm injury and had to leave Friday’s game against the Athletics, but he said he was OK Saturday morning.

“There was just a knot under my arm,” Lo Duca said. “I don’t know what it is.”

Lo Duca said he was sore, but didn’t expect the problem to linger.

Here is the Rockies’ lineup agianst the Angels:

Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Ryan Spilborghs, CF

Jason Giambi, 1B

Miguel Olivo, C

Brad Hawpe, RF

Melvin Mora, 3B

Seth Smith, LF

Clint Barmes, SS

Jeff Francis, LHP

Giambi and Hawpe are getting a coveted chance to see left-handed pitching — the Angels’ Scott Kazmir. The Rockies haven’t faced much of it. Spilborghs is getting a chance to play all three outfield positions this spring. Key relievers scheduled to participate are right-handers Matt Belisle and Justin Speier. Belisle has pitched well this spring, but forearm tightness has limited his appearances. Speier spent the last three seasons with the Angels.

Francis will be tested by an all right-handed lineup (that’s including switch-hitting leadoff man Macier Izturis). Here is the Angels lineup that Francis will face:

Macier Izturis, 2B

Jeff Mathis, C

Juan Rivera, RF

Brandon Wood, 3B

Robb Quinlan, LF

Terry Evans, CF

Freddy Sandoval, 1B

Gary Patchett, SS

Scott Kazmir, LHP

Rockies set for match with Indians

Right-handed closer Huston Street is likely headed to the disabled list with a shoulder issue. He’s having an MRI today. Infielder Omar Quintanilla is getting an MRI tomorrow.

So the news has been a little bit of a downer this morning. But the Rockies are playing the Indians today at Hi Corbett Field. Here’s the Rockies’ lineup:

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Dexter Fowler, CF

Todd Helton, 1B

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Brad Hawpe, RF

Chris Iannetta, C

Ian Stewart, 3B

Clint Barmes, 2B

Jorge De La Rosa, LHP

 

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.

 

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.

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.

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