Results tagged ‘ Edwin Bellorin ’

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.”

Fowler resting calf

Rockies manager Jim Tracy gave rookie center fieler Dexter Fowler some rest time Saturday. Fowler fouled a pitch off his right calf Friday night, and had the area heavly taped Saturday. Seth Smith replaced him atop the order. It was also Carlos Gonzalez’s first start in center field for the Rockies. Here are the lineups for the Rockies-Cardinals game:

Rockies

Seth Smith, LF

Clint Barmes, SS

Todd Helton, 1B

Garrett Atkins, 3B

Brad Hawpe, RF

Ian Stewart, 2B

Carlos Gonzalez, CF

Edwin Bellorin, C

Aaron Cook, P

Cardinals

Skip Schumaker, 2B

Rick Ankiel, CF

Albert Pujols, 1B

Ryan Ludwick, RF

Chris Duncan, LF

Jason LaRue, C

Joe Thurston, 3B

Todd Wellemeyer, P

Tyler Greene, SS

 

Dexter Fowler is still here…

The Rockies announced some cuts Monday morning. Center field prospect Dexter Fowler, considered too young at the start of camp for big-league consideration, survived and could force his way onto the team. Interestingly, Matt Murton was sent out despite his .302 spring average. A story is coming on the site.

Here is their official press release:

 

TUCSON – The Colorado Rockies announced today that three players have been optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs, while three other players have been reassigned to minor league camp.

 

The following players have been optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs: outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, outfielder Matt Murton and left-handed pitcher Greg Smith. Additionally, catcher Edwin Bellorin, left-handed pitcher Randy Flores and catcher Paul Phillips have all been reassigned to Minor League camp. 

 

The Rockies now have 34 players on the Major League Spring Training roster, including 8 non-roster players

Where are they headed?

Here are some of the Rockies’ decisions on where players will start 2009:

– Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin received consideration for Triple-A Colorado Springs, but he’ll start at Double-A Tulsa.

“There’s a factor involved — the weather,” Rockies player development director Marc Gustafson said. “It’s staying on a consistent routine. When you’re in Colorado Springs, you don’t know what you’re going to get.

“He’s got the talent [to pitch Triple-A], but, as we say, it’s not where you start. It’s where you finish. He has the ability to pitch at the Major League level. We just have to make sure we take care of him.”

– Catcher Michael McKenry showed some ability early in camp. With the possibility of Sal Fasano and Edwin Bellorin handling the catching at Colorado Springs, the Rockies believe Tulsa is the best place for McKenry.

“He’s a young kid still learning how to call games,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd said. “I want us to take our time with our catchers as much as we can.”

– Right-handers Brandon Hynick, Greg Reynolds and Jason Hirsh look to be three-fifths of the Colorado Springs rotation. A possibility is lefty Greg Smith, if he’s healthy. Smith’s shoulder soreness has likely cost him a chance at the Major League rotation.

Gustafson said since being sent down early in camp, Hirsh has made progress. Hirsh missed the end of 2007 with a broken bone in his leg and as limited last season with a rotator cuff strain.

“He’s worked extremely hard and gone about his business the right way,” Gustafson said. “Good things are going to happen for him.”

– Reynolds, who struggled during two callups last season, is another work in progress.

“He’s got a few minor issues with his delivery that he should be able to correct,” Colorado Springs pitching coach Chuck Kniffin said. “I think his stride was getting out there a little too long the last two times he threw [in Major League spring games]. That makes it harder to get sink with his sinker. He needs to concentrate on the lower part of the zone, so when he misses he’ll miss down in the zone. He needs to stay ahead of hitters so he can pitch off the plate aggressively.”

Kniffin also said Reynolds should be able to use his curveball at different parts of the count.

Reynolds was the Rockies’ top pick in 2006, and missed the end of 2007 with a shoulder injury, so he needs experience.

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. 

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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