Results tagged ‘ Garrett Atkins ’

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

Comforting a teammate …

Center fielder Ryan Spilborghs was back at Hi Corbett Field on Sunday morning. He had left camp to be with his family after his mother, Essie, died on Friday.

Spilborghs had plenty of friends to help comfort him.

The Rockies played the Indians at Goodyear, Ariz. But shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who originally was supposed to make the trip, stayed back and worked out with Spilborghs and the other teammates. This was a case when something else was more important than a few innings of an exhibition game.

Here is Sunday’s lineup:

Scott Podsednik            CF

Clint Barmes                 SS

Seth Smith                    LF

Garrett Atkins                3B

Matt Miller                     DH

Carlos Gonzalez            CF

Sal Fasano                     C

Jonathan Herrera           2B

Omar Quintanilla           3B

Right-hander Aaron Cook is pitching. Also, righty Ubaldo Jimenez is making his last appearance before leaving to join the Dominican Republic team for the World Baseball Classic. 

Lineup time … and welcome to the Ranter

Left fielder Seth Smith, who has received so many kudos from the Rockies about his swing that he’s getting a chance to start this year, will hit from the No. 2 spot in Wednesday afternoon’s Spring Training opener against the D-Backs. Also, with first baseman Todd Helton not yet ready for regular action (he was spotted heading for a workout and hitting session), Brad Hawpe takes the No. 3 spot in the order. Garrett Atkins will bat cleanup and Troy Tulowitzki, whi hit second and seventh last season, is batting fifth.

Here’s the lineup in its entirety:

Ryan Spilborghs   CF

Seth Smith           LF

Brad Hawpe         RF

Garrett Atkins      3B

Troy Tulowitzki     SS

Chris Iannetta        C

Joe Koshansky    1B

Clint Barmes        2B

Aaron Cook           P


I pulled up to Hi Corbett Field this morning and saw, in all its glory and splendor, The Rockpile Ranter’s Mobile Blog Unit. Welcome to Tucson. I’d have taken a picture, but I was afraid that a security force would have apprehended me. But now that my intentions are known, a snapshot shouldn’t be a problem. Should it?

— Here’s a little more: today’s pitching schedule.

Cook (two innings)

Ubaldo Jimenez (2)

Manuel Corpas (1)

Alan Embree (1)

Juan Morillo (1)

Jason Grilli (1)

Ryan Mattheus (1)

Here is pitching schedule for tomorrow against the White Sox.

Jason Hirsh (two innings)

Franklin Morales (2)

Taylor Buchholz (1)

Huston Street (1)

Cedrick Bowers (1)

Shane Lindsay (1)

Ryan Speier (1)

Pitchng schedules are always subject to change, of course.

The art of the bunt, from unlikely artists

Todd Helton — Three career sacrifice bunts.

Brad Hawpe — Two.

Garrett Atkins — Zero.

Seth Smith — Eight in the Minors.

Yet at the end of Saturday’s rather lengthy workout (I didn’t time it, but it seemed long), all of the Rockies were taking turns bunting. And manager Clint Hurdle watched everyone intently. Multiple coaches offered tips to players.

The emphasis would seem odd. The Rockies play at Coors Field, where giving up outs seems a worse idea than other places because the park gives up so many runs. The Rockies have tried that strategy, with mixed results. They had 97 sac bunts in 2004 and 88 in 2005, yet won 73 and 67 games. They had 88 in their World Series year of 2007. The difference was in ’04 and ’05, the club had multiple position players with more bunts than any pitcher. In ’07, pitchers Aaron Cook and Jeff Francis were the far-and-away leaders.

So does this mean they’re headed back to the era of the Blake Street Bunters?

Not necessarily.

That’s not to say some folks who haven’t squared much will be doing so. After all, some of the ideas Hurdle has kicked around for a lineup involve Smith or Helton batting second in the order. That spot can come up at times the team is playing for one run. Also, last season the Rockies had such difficulty with runners in scoring position and in situations when they could have used a productive out that maybe the sac bunt could be a positive.

But the larger issue here is someone, or a few someones, must be able to execute the play. Therefore, it must be important to everyone, so all must work on it.

Before Spring Training, Atkins mentioned that the difference between an execution-oriented Minor League camp and most Major League camps, which often emphasize individualized work, is there are more skills that an entire team practices at once. This was one of those times for the Rockies, who did little tasks so well in ’07 and were awful at them in ’08.

Smith, for instance, looked out of place early in the drill but finished up with much cleaner fundamentals. Hurdle called him the “comeback bunter of the day” and lauded him for being mad enough at himself to immediately seek improvement.

Essentially, the philosophy is every weakness is important enough to improve. If a player sees his teammate addressing a shortcoming, how can he not address his own?

“I’m finding out who’s in a good place already and who can we isolate, that we’ve got some catch-up work to do with,” Hurdle said. “It’s something we’ve talked about. All of them need to be able to do it. Now, whether they’ll be asked or how many times, i don’t know that. But the focus is going to be on it.

“With that group setting, it’s helped us maintain. Everybody’s watching everybody else. I had a couple of guys help me out, saying, ‘Hey, so-and-so needs some work,’ because they’re working with them throughout the day.”

Helton dropped attempted more sac bunts during one turn in the batter’s box Saturday than he’s dropped in the Majors and Minors combined (seven), and he took more than one turn. Helton didn’t find it a waste of time at all.

“Every team bunts in Spring Training and goes over every fundamental — you never know when you’re going to be called to do it,” said Helton, who added that executing the bunt is a prerequisite for anyone who picks up a bat and calls himself a professional.

— Luis A. Gonzalez, a one-time starting second baseman who is returning to the Rockies as a non-roster player, has not arrived from Venezuela. Hurdle said he is taking cae of a family matter that arose, and the club is allowing him the time he needs.