Results tagged ‘ Garrett Atkins ’

Phils + Rox = fun

The schedulemaker couldn’t have picked a potentially bigger offensive series to open the Coors Field schedule. But skip the hype. Here are the lineups:

Rockies

Dexter Fowler         CF

Ryan Spilborghs     LF

Todd Helton           1B

Garrett Atkins        3B

Brad Hawpe          RF

Troy Tulowtizki      SS

Chris Iannetta         C

Clint Barmes         2B

Jason Marquis        P

Phillies

Jimmy Rollins        SS

Shane Victorino     CF

Chase Utley           2B

Ryan Howard         1B

Jayson Werth         RF

Raul Ibanez            LF

Pedro Feliz            3B

Carlos Ruiz             C

Cole Hamels           P

Helton takes a seat

The Rockies promised all along that they would be smart about first baseman Todd Helton’s playing time, since he’s 35 and coming off back problems. So he did not start agianst D-backs left-hander Doug Davis on Wednesday. The team is off on Thursday, so he’ll go into Friday’s home opener with plenty of rest.

Right fielder Brad Hawpe was the only left-handed hitter in the lineup. It’s the first start of the year for center fielder Dexter Fowler, third baseman Jeff Baker and catcher Yorvit Torrealba.

Here’s the Rockies’ lineup:

Dexter Fowler            CF

Troy Tulowitzki          SS

Ryan Spilborghs        LF

Garrett Atkins            1B

Brad Hawpe               RF

Jeff Baker                 3B

Clint Barmes             2B

Yorvit Torrealba           C

 

Here is the D-backs’ lineup against lefty Franklin Morales.

Felipe Lopez               2B

Stephen Dres              SS

Chris Young                CF

Conor Jackson             1B

Mark Reynolds             3B

Eric Byrnes                  LF

Chris Snyder                 C

Justin Upton                RF

Doug Davis                   P

 

 

Game 2 lineup — Barmes is in there

The Rockies went with the lineup that was expected coming out of Spring Training. That means Clint Barmes, who didn’t start Monday’s opener (Ian Stewart went 1-for-3 with an RBI before being replaced by Barmes, who was 0-for-2), is in the lineup.

Stewart was in for the left-on-right matchup with D-backs starter Brandon Webb. Tonight’s starter, Dan Haren, also is a tough righty. But it turns out there isn’t a favorable matchup for the two second basemen. Barmes is 1-for-12 and Stewart 1-for-9 against Haren. The other second baseman for the Rockies, Jeff Baker, is 1-for-2 against Haren.

Those who hit Haren well are catcher Chris Iannetta (4-for-9, .444), center fielder Ryan Spilborghs (4-for-11, .364) and third baseman Garrett Atkins (4-for-13, .308, 1 HR, 4 RBIs).

At any rate, here is the lineup:

Ryan Spilborghs         CF

Seth Smith                 LF

Todd Helton                1B

Garrett Atkins             3B

Brad Hawpe                RF

Troy Tulowitzki            SS

Chris Iannetta               C

Clint Barmes               2B

Ubaldo Jimenez            P

Final Opening Day thoughts …

Spring Training was devoted to execution, especially offensively, but the Rockies did not come through on two opportunities to execute two plays. In the second inning, Ian Stewart took a called third strike on a Brandon Webb, full-count pitch that he never thought was a strike, and Brad Hawpe was thrown out at second for a double play. In the sixth, Ryan Spilborghs swung through a Billy Buckner pitch and Chris Iannetta was thrown out at second. Spilborghs would fan to end the inning.

Manager Clint Hurdle, reiterating what he said all spring, vowed that the aggressiveness would not stop.

“We have talked long and hard this spring, and we’ve done a very good job at it,” Hurdle said. “Today we just weren’t able to pull a trigger.

“We’ve done very well at it all spring. I anticipate we will.”

Stewart said, “I thought it was a little in, but 3-2, I should’ve been swinging at that.”

So this is as good a time as any to see if the Rockies are serious about the aggressiveness. Many teams set such goals in Spring Training, but after a couple of runners caught stealing you see guys feel they don’t have a jump and shut down their steal attempts. Or you see weak swings that, at best, foul pitches off. Worse than all that, managers give up and play station-to-station baseball.

But two occasions in the third inning, one that worked for the Rockies and one that didn’t, illustrate why aggressive baserunning is the way to go.

On Brad Hawpe’s three-run double, it looked as if the throw to the plate beat Garrett Atkins. However, D-backs catcher Chris Snyder didn’t get a favorable bounce on the throw and had to field the ball too deep behind the plate. Atkins slid feet-first but darted his left hand to the plate beneath the tag.

In the bottom of the inning with Stephen Drew at third, Eric Byrnes hit a fly ball to Spilborghs in center field. Spilborghs had time to set his feet and put momentum behind the throw, but the ball was just off the plate and Drew scored.

– When asked about difficult decisoins, such as starting Stewart instead of Clint Barmes at second base could bruise feelings and made things tough on a manager, Hurdle bristled.

“We’ve weiged that all out,” Hurdle said. “If it’s about their ego, it’s about the wrong thing. If they have any challenges or any questions, come in and we’ll talk about it. I’ll have reasons for the decisions that I make. Whether they agree with them or not, that’s understandable. You want your players to want to play.”

Hurdle then mentioned that each player should be able to look at his teammate and understand the different talents that lead to different decisions. As far as anyone knows, and we may never know, no one challenged Hurdle.

No one went public with disagreement but certainly, the potential for disagreement was there. Barmes had an outstanding Spring Training and was the primary guy all spring. But the players had to be aware of the potential of a left-on-right matchup with Stewart, who has a power swing, against Webb. The matchups dictated such the decision.

Can a player’s desire to play be contrary to a team goal? Must a player supposed to stifle his disagreement with the manager’s decision? How much should emotion be considered, against numbers and matchups?

If baseball were strictly a top-down society, where the boss’ word is law, those questions would have obvious answers. But players hold much more power, because they’re harder to replace, than the average employee. So this is not like a normal workplace, or even like the teams many of the fans played on at the youth, high school and college levels. The players’ unique sets of abilities give them a high level of clout.

So while Hurdle’s quotes to the media about the role ego should not play are well-taken, the key for him is to make sure the players are constantly kept on board with his thinking and reasoning.

 

Stewart surprise starter at second

The season doesn’t start for a few hours, and already manager Clint Hurdle has pulled a surprise. Left-handed hitting Ian Stewart will start at second, instead of last year’s regular, Clint Barmes. This is obviously a strategic move, putting another lefty in the lineup against D-backs sinkerballer Brandon Webb.

(A full story will be coming soon on the Web site.)

Stewart played some second last season. He began working at second late in Spring Training.

“I knew it was going to happen at some point this season,” Stewart said. “I had no idea it would be this soon.”

Interestingly, Stewart is batting sixth and Troy Tulowitzki will drop to seventh. Normally, Hurdle intends to bat Tulowitzki sixth. But his Opening Day lineup has lefty hitters in spots 2, 3, 5 and 6, as the Rockies believe it’s a better matchup against the right-handed Webb.

Here’s the lineup:

Ryan Spilborghs    CF

Seth Smith           LF

Todd Helton          1B

Garrett Atkins       3B

Brad Hawpe          RF

Ian Stewart           2B

Troy Tulowitzki      SS

Chris Iannetta        C

Aaron Cook           P

Here’s how the D-backs will addres Rockies sinkerballer Aaron Cook:

 

Felipe Lopez        2B

Chris Young         CF

Stephen Drew      SS

Chad Tracy          3B

Eric Byrnes         RF

Tony Clark           1B

Conor Jackson     LF

Chris Snyder         C

Brandon Webb      P

 

Baker on the move, out of the lineup

Rockies infielder Jeff Baker, who has played just two games this spring because of an elbow strain, originally was supposed to start at third base Tuesday against the Royals. The first lineup card had him at second base. But before gametime, Baker was out of the lineup, but he could see some time at first base.

There was no new injury. It’s just that Baker has not had enough time taking groundballs and making throws as a third baseman or second baseman to be put into a game at those two spots.

“Today, I took some grounders at second, which was a good first step,” Baker said. “I just want to brach out. Hopefully, I’ll keep doing good and keep progressing.”

Third baseman Garrett Atkins did special exercises and stretches for his strained right groin. Head trainer Keith Dugger said Atkins will take the day off with the rest of the club Wednesday, then do more exercises and hitting Thursday before the club decides the next move.

The lineup:

Ryan Spilborghs              CF

Seth Smith                     LF

Todd Helton                    1B

Brad Hawpe                    RF

Troy Tulowitzki                SS

Clint Barmes                  2B

Christian Colonel            3B

Yorvit Torrealba                C

Ubaldo Jimenez               P 

Colonel wows his manager

Prospect Christian Colonel, who has received extensive playing time this spring because of injuries to third basemen Garrett Atkins and Jeff Baker, had manager Clint Hurdle talking about his ninth-inning, three-run homer in Monday’s 8-3 victory over the D-backs at Tucson Electric Park.

“I was waiting to hear some cars,” Hurdle said before making a car alarm sound.

– Baker, limited to two games this spring because of an elbow issue, was available but did not play Monday. Hurdle said Baker will start at third base on Tuesday against the Royals.

– Atkins has been out lately with a strained right hip flexor, but told the Denver Post on Monday that his right groin is sore, and limiting his lateral movement. Hurdle said after Monday’s game that there is no reason to push him into the lineup Tuesday. The club is off on Wednesday.

– Closer candidate Huston Street struck out two in two spotless innings on Monday. After struggling in his first two official spring outings, Street has thrown three perfect innings in his last two appearances. Righty releiver Jason Grilli, coming off a poor outing against the Mariners (three hits, two runs in one inning), walked one on Monday but pitched a scoreless inning. Lefty Glendon Rusch was credited with a save Monday after giving up three hits and a walk but no runs in two innings. He has thrown 4 1/3 scoreless innings in Cactus League games. He did give up two runs, one earned, in an intrasquad contest.

Atkins taking it easy

Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins took batting practice Friday but was not in the starting lineup for the game against the Giants. Atkins said he aggravated his right hip flexor two days ago. The original injury cost him two days earlier this spring, and he will be given a few days to recover from the latest flare-up.

“I’m OK, I’m just taking it easy,” Atkins said. “It doesn’t hurt to hit, but it affects me when I’m running and going side-to-side.”

A Holliday celebration … Hawpe to the cage, maybe beyond

The Rockies are preparing to meet the Athletics at Hi Corbett Field. More than that, they’re ready to welcome an old friend, their former left fielder, Matt Holliday.

Unable to sign him for the long term, the Rockies dealt him to the Athletics for pitchers Greg Smith and Huston Street, and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.

“It’ll be weird,” Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. “It’ll be different seeing him in an A’s uniform. It’ll be different when he comes up to bat, not watching him from the dugout but having to play defense against him. But it’ll be exciting just to watch him play and get to see him.

“He’s definitely a guy I look up to and respect a lot. I think I’ve made that pretty clear. At the same time, there’s a business part of it, and it’s a choice he made and the Rockies made. I respect both sides.”

Here’s the lineup that will welcome Holliday:

Ryan Spilborghs           CF

Clint Barmes                2B

Todd Helton                 1B

Garrett Atkins              3B

Troy Tulowitzki             SS

Seth Smith                  LF

Matt Murton                RF

Yorvit Torrealba             C

Jorge De La Rosa      LHP

– In a bit of good news for the Rockies, right fielder Brad Hawpe said he planned to hit in the batting cage on Tuesday and possibly join his teammates on the field for batting practice. Hawpe hasn’t played since suffering a lacerated left pinkie finger on Feb. 27.

– Right-handed closer Manuel Corpas is back in the Rockies’ camp after pitching for Panama in the World baseball Classic.

 

More injuries … and, OK, some good news

Right-handed reliever Taylor Buchholz will miss 4-6 weeks for with a strained ulnar collateral tendon in his throwing elbow. Also, the Rockies scratched third baseman Garrett Atkins from the lineup for Thursday’s exhibition game with Mexico because of a strained right hip flexor. Christian Colonel replaced him.

Now for good news:

Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez pitched three scoreless innings with four srikeouts, and two hits, for the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic team against the Cardinals on Thursday.

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