Results tagged ‘ Daniel Ortmeier ’

Decision time?

The Rockies did not open their clubhouse to the media this morning. This nearly always means roster moves, so it’s a big day at Hi Corbett Field.

This year’s decisions are tougher than ever. Prospect Dexter Fowler gets harder and harder to send down to Triple-A Colorado Springs, but has anyone really played himself out of the starting lineup so Fowler can get regular playing time?  Also, reserve-types Matt Murton and Daniel Ortmeier have performed well enough to earn bench spots, but so have Jeff Baker and Omar Quintanilla.

Also, the big decision that should come down today is the closer. Will it be Huston Street or Manuel Corpas?

Stay tuned.

Breathing easily

Good evening, everyone. It’s Thursday evening. If you’re back in Denver, sorry. That is, unless you enjoy shoveling snow. Some folks do. All I can say is I admire you.

Anyhow, I have a few thoughts about this afternoon’s 8-6 loss to the Dodgers, besides whatever appears in stories on the site. Here goes:

– Todd Helton had two doubles and is up to .423 in the Cactus League. Great sign, but what impressed me today was what I saw from him defensively. He dove for a hit that turned into an RBI double, but he didn’t hesitate to make that dive. After years of back problems, he wouldn’t have been blamed for thinking twice about it. Who knows? Maybe the intensity of a regular-season game would have given him the reach he needed to make that play. He also made a nice pickup and throw to the plate to cut down a runner.

Manager Clint Hurdle knows he needs to keep an eye on Helton’s back. But he also sees a player who doesn’t leave him breathless with worry.

“He is playing with freedom,” Hurdle said. “I am by no means on the edge of my seat watching his every move.”

– Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa had a bad inning, when he gave up five runs in the fourth. He also had four clean innings. So you can take what you want from this one. He could have minimized the damage, but walked pinch-hitter Doug Mientkiewicz and opened the door for the Dodgers. Breezing through the next inning was a good sign, but you’d like to see him stop trouble when it’s in progress.

Despite the 9.42 spring ERA, there is no wavering on De La Rosa as the No. 4 starter. 

– Outfield backup hopeful Scott Podsednik went 0-for-4 and is down to .231. He will need a strong finish to secure a job, especially with Matt Murton and Daniel Ortmeier hitting well and Dexter Fowler trying to change the thinking that he needs time in Triple-A. If the Rockies don’t go with Podsednik, they lose experience. Podsednik readily shares his knowledge with fellow outfielders, but production trumps that.

– One moment looked scarier from the press box than it was. On one of the two times catcher Chris Iannetta threw out a runner attempting to steal, he was hit on the left arm by backswinging bat. But Iannetta didn’t flinch. Getting clubbed with a bat is just part of the job.

That’s it for tonight. I need to pace myself. Tomorrow I’ll hit you with some thoughts on the closer competition, specifically where Manuel Corpas stands in the competition with Huston Street. 

Instrasquad Monday … No Helton (on the lineup card, at least)

*– See update at the bottom

First off, my apologies for the lack of a blog the last couple of days. I ran into some issues with the technology that are beyond my expertise. Those have been rectified. I have no idea how.

The Rockies are off according to the Cactus League schedule, but they’re on the field at Hi Corbett for an intrasquad game.

But first baseman Todd Helton won’t be. Helton, who homered on Sunday in his first Cactus League game this year, had hoped to play designated hitter. But pitchers are batting in this game. Also, it rained overnight in Tucson, so there’s no reason to risk his recovering back on a wet field.

Here are lineups:

Team A

CF Dexter Fowler

SS Jonathan Herrera

3B Ian Stewart

RF Daniel Ortmeier

2B Chris Nelson

C Paul Phillips

1B Edwin Bellorin

LF Christian Colonel

RHP Jason Marquis

Team B

2B Eric Young Jr.

SS Omar Quintanilla

CF Carlos Gonzalez

1B Joe Koshansky

LF Matt Miller

C Matt McKenry

3B Luis Gonzalez

CF Chris Frey

LHP Glendon Rusch

*UPDATE – One need not be on a lineup card to participate in an intrasquad game. The Rockies arranged for Helton to bat third in six different half-innings. He went 2-for-6 with a double. 

Thoughts of Tucson, B game extravaganza

First baseman Todd Helton has expressed a desire to play in today’s B game against D-backs, but he’s not in the starting lineup. Helton was hoping to be the designated hitter, but the lineup has the pitcher batting. Here it is:

Eric Young Jr.                 2B

Dexter Fowler                 CF

Carlos Gonzalez             RF

Daniel Ortmeier              1B

Yorvit Torrealba                C

Matt Miller                     LF

Luis Gonzalez               3B

Chris Nelson                 SS

Jason Marquis                P

– A couple of days ago, I wrote that six communities outside of Tucson — mostly in the Phoenix metro area — are in various stages of proposing a new spring home for the Rockies. Tucson continues to try, but with so many teams in Phoenix and with the local community having to overcome the economy and the distance from Phoenix, the Rockies have one foot out the door and another on a banana peel.

A move to Phoenix makes a lot of sense. But it’s too bad.

At the risk of sounding like a John Mellencamp song, I get enough of the big town during the regular season, especially Phoenix. I like being off the Major League path. Tucson has good restaurants and is surrounded by natural beauty. Yes, Phoenix is more convenient. When the Rockies play there, you just have to deal with the awful traffic. When the Rockies play in Tucson, you’ve got a two-hour drive before the traffic jam before the game, and a two-hour drive after a postgame jam that’s worse than the pregame snarl.

Oops.

Actually, Phoenix is a nice place to visit. I recommend Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Cafe, a soul food joint down the street from Chase Field (smothered chicken or smothered pork chops are worth every bite; worry about the calories some other time), and My Florist, a funky fern bar-restaurant complete with a pianist (where you could go worldly and order tuna nicoise salad, or go grade school and ask for PB&J) not terribly far from the ballpark. But give me something different during Spring Training.

Spilborghs back atop lineup

Rockies center fielder Ryan Spilborghs, who hasn’t played in a few days because of the death of his mother, is leading off for the Rockies today agains the Angels. Here’s the lineup:

Ryan Spilborghs          CF

Troy Tulowitzki            SS

Garrett Atkins             3B

Joe Koshansky           1B

Matt Murton                LF

Yorvit Torrealba            C

Clint Barmes              2B

Daniel Ortmeier          RF

Franklin Morales          P

Lineups are in, Baker is out

The Rockies put up a lineup for this afternoon against the Dodgers, and already have a change. Jeff Baker was supposed to be designated hitter, but he was scratched for Matt Murton because of tenderness in his right elbow.

Speaking of injuries, third baseman-outfielder Ian Stewart said he is gradually healing from a left biceps strain he suffered while swinging before Thursday’s game. Stewart said he is hoping to return to the batting cage on Sunday.

So here’s today’s lineup:

Eric Young Jr.            2B

Scott Podsednik        LF

Troy Tulowitzki          SS

Matt Murton              DH

Yorvit Torrealba          C

Daniel Ortmeier        1B

Carlos Gonzalez       CF

Christian Colonel      RF

Jason Marquis          P

Jorge De La Rosa and Josh Fogg also are schedueld to throw two innings apiece.

Intrasquad Tuesday

Here are the lineups for Tuesday’s intrasquad game at Hi Corbett Field:

Team 1

Dexter Fowler, CF

Omar Quintanilla, SS

Joe Koshansky, 1B

Matt Miller, LF

Daniel Ortmeier, RF

Christian Colonel, 3B

Chris Nelson, 2B

Sal Fasano, C

Team 2

Eric Young Jr., 2B

Chris Frey, CF

Ian Stewart, 3B

Matt Murton, RF

Seth smith, LF

Edwin Bellorin, 1B

Paul Phillips, C

Jonathan Herrera, SS

Listed on the lineup card are two extra catchers, Wilin Rosario and Michael McKenry.

Manager Clint Hurdle kept most of the team’s starters and frequently used reserves out of the lineup. But Stewart and Smith each have crowds at their position, so the at-bats are important.

Non-roster veteran right-hander Josh Fogg, hoping to make the club for Opening Day, is pitching. Otherwise, the club will use its prospects in the game. Right-handed starters Esmil Rogers, Jhoulys Chacin, Brandon Hynick and Samuel Deduno are scheduled for two innings apiece. Righty relievers Matt Daley and Steven Register will throw an inning apiece.

– Left-hander Randy Flores, who is coming off shoulder surgery, is not on this week’s pitching schedule. He came to camp on a modified throwing program.

– Left-handed reliever Alan Embree has returned to camp after missing a day for personal reasons.

Opportunity awaits Gonzalez

Rockies outfielders Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez sit atop prop prospect lists. This year, Fowler generally occupies a higher rung than Gonzalez, partly because Gonzales had a much more meaningful run in the Majors last season. The Athletics used Gonzalez regularly for part of last season. Fowler received merely a few September at-bats.

But when it comes to making the Rockies’ roster out of Spring Training, experience is a benefit, not a curse.

Fowler is widely assumed to be headed to Triple-A Colorado Springs to begin the season. Gonzalez has an option left, and the Rockies have already declared their three outfielders atop the depth chart — Seth Smith in left, Ryan Spilborghs in center and Brad Hawpe in right. But manager Clint Hurdle is entering the season wanting to give Gonzalez every opportunity to impress him this spring.

“There won’t be a nurturing, coddling, holding his hand through it, like a Rule 5 guy you might go get and try and protect through the season,” Hurdle said. “He’s got some experience. He needs to play. There’s got to be reps. There’s got to be at-bats available.

“There’s that fine line, whether it’s 400 Minor League at-bats versus 300 [in the Majors]. I don’t know. If the numbers are workable, he can add a significant value to our club, whether it be playing a couple of outfield positions as a left-handed bat with some speed.”

Translated, the Rockies feel they’ll be at their best if Gonzalez is pushing Smith and Spilborghs for their starting jobs.

Right-handed hitting Matt Murton and left-handed hitters Daniel Ortmeier and Scott Podsednik are in the mix for backup outfield jobs, as well. Third baseman Ian Stewart will get a look in left field, utility man Jeff Baker has some experience in the outfield, and second baseman Clint Barmes is capable of going to the outfield. Hurdle sees him as only an emergency outfielder, but he said some in the organization believe Barmes could handle extended duty out there.

– As part of the execution emphasis, the Rockies are rating every hitting drill and posting the scores. There are 10 rounds based on hitting tasks — various bunts, driving in a runner from third, hit-and-run. Each exercise is given assigned a maximum point total. A score of 38 through nine rounds is considered perfect, then three is a bonus base-hit round. Sunday, for example, Gonzalez, shotstop Troy Tulowitzki and catcher Edwin Bellorin had the highest individual scores. Also, the team is divided into three groups, and the total number of points for each group is kept. Players are crowding in front of the whiteboard in the clubhosue to see their scores.

– The Rockies are planning an intrasquad game on Tuesday morning. They open their Cactus League schedule Wednesday at Hi Corbett Field against the D-backs.

– The early part of Sunday’s workout was devoted to a spirited “ragball” tournament. They used a machine to shoot beanbag-like balls at a pitcher completing a windup. Right-handed prospect Jhoulys Chacin won his group. Video coordinator Brian Jones won the contest involving staff members.

Manager Clint Hurdle had injury concerns, but signed off on the exercise in the name of team cohesiveness.

“There have been a number of things the guys have had a lot of fun with,” Hurdle said. “That might be at the top of the list right now.

– Left-handed veteran reliever Alan Embree left camp after Saturday’s workout to take care of a personal matter, and will be back in “a couple of days,” Hurdle said Sunday.

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