Results tagged ‘ Jason Marquis ’

Rain hits, but the important work is done

A hard and chilly rain hit Tucson right around the time the Rockies’ pitchers and catchers were scheduled to end their drills during Saturday morning’s workout. It forced the team to change some plans for post-workout conditioning, but manager Jim Tracy said the baseball work was done.

Tracy is calling on his pitchers to be versatile offensively. Most of the time they’ll be asked to advance runners, with the bunt being the No. 1 weapon. But if pitchers develp the ability to slug-bunt for a base hit in such a situation or hit-and-run, suddenly Tracy can make surprise calls — or at least give the opponent other factors to consider.

“You look at those great Braves clubs with [Greg] Maddux, and [John] Smoltz, and [Tom] Glavine, and, back in the day, [Steve] Avery,” Tracy said. “One of the things you knew, and this goes back to when I was a coach in Montreal, they started and were able to do a lot of things. When they walked to the plate, yes, you knew a bunt was in order and there were times they would do that.

“But you had to be concious about the fact they could possibly do anything. That alone right there eased the opportunity for you to get the job done.”

Jason Marquis, one of baseball’s best offensive pitchers, took his bat and arm to the Nationals this winter after a strong 2009 for the Rockies. But Aaron Cook is such a versatile hitter that former manager Clint Hurdle used him as a pinch-hitter, and Jeff Francis has been more-than respectable at the plate.

At one point, stories of Ubaldo Jimenez’s ineptitude with the bat were sources of comedy, and Jorge De La Rosa wasn’t good, eithre. Now Jimenez is advanced with the bat. De La Rosa won an important game with the Mets last season with a double. Tracy said Jason Hammel, who had been in the American League with the Rays before being traded to the Rockies at the start of the seaso, also improved as last season progressed.

The Draft is never far from the Rockies’ minds

The Rockies’ decision to offer free-agent right-hander Rafael Betancourt came as no surprise. Offering right-handed starter Jason Marquis arbitration could be considered one. But, remember how the Rockies were built.

Certainly, the Rockies could end up paying Betancourt $5 million if he accepts, but the club understands that it might have to open the checkbook a little for a proven righty reliever. However, if he rejects, the Rockies will get a first- or second-round choice in 2010 from the club that signs him, and will receive a compensation choice, often called a “sandwich pick,” between the first and second rounds.

Marquis is seeking a big-dollar, multi-year contract, so rejecting arbitration is the likely route. If that deal isn’t out there, he can still negotiate with the Rockies.

Marquis is a Type B free agent, which means the Rockies will receive a sandwich pick. Considering that in many important games the last three years the entire starting team was either drafted or signed by the club, that’s no small issue. It’s how the Rockies can maintain a competitive club despite a tight payroll.

Torrealba has baseball on the mind

Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba was back in the clubhouse and, more importantly, in a baseball frame of mind Tuesday afternoon.

Torrealba, who last played June 1 then had toi deal with the kidnappings if his son and two other family members in Venezuela,  played four get-in-shape games for Triple-A Colorado Springs (4-for-15). He was to be looked over by the Rockies’ training staff Tuesday before the club could activate him.

“I feel good,” Torrealba said. “I’m thinking about baseball. I had my son with me down in Colorado Springs, and that was good. I’m ready to help the team in any way I can.”

The lineup card for Tuesday’s game with the Dodgers listed Paul Phillips as the reserve catcher, behind Chris Iannetta, so it woudl be at least Wednesday before Torrealba will be back on the roster.

Here are the starting lineups:

Rockies

Seth Smith, LF

Clint Barmes, 2B

Todd Helton, 1B

Brad Hawpe, RF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Ian Stewart, 3B

Carlos Gonzalez, CF

Chris Iannetta, C

Jason Marquis, P

Dodgers

Juan Pierre, LF

Rafael Furcal, SS

Andre Ethier, RF

Casey Blake, 3B

Mat Kemp, CF

Juan Castro, 2B

A.J. Ellis, C

Chad Billingsley, P

Stewart, Barmes in, Atkins out for Cards finale

Rockies manager Jim Tracy, needing to stay with the hot bats of Ian Stewart and Clint Barmes, left third baseman Garrett Atkins out of the lineup for Monday’s finale of a four-game set with the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Tracy insisted, however, that Atkins is not going to be buried on the bench. Tracy will look for favorable matchups, try to put him in key pinch-hit situations and see if he can make Atkins a viable lineup option. Atkins has shown life lately, but he is batting .189 with fivfe home runs and 20 RBIs.

“In no way do I want to be having people thinking or suggesting that that’s it with Garrett Atkins, but because of where we’re at right now I am in a position to pick spots for the time being that make the most sense,” Tracy said.

Here are Monday’s lineups:

Rockies

Dexter Fowler, CF

Clint Barmes, 2B

Todd Helton, 1B

Brad Hawpe, RF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Paul Phillips, C

Jason Marquis, P

Cardinals

Skip Schumaker, 2B

Colby Rasmus, CF

Albert Pujols, 1B

Ryan Ludwick, RF

Chris Duncan, LF

Yadier Molina, C

Tyler Greene, 3B

Brad Thompson, P

Brendan Ryan, SS

Needing offense, or some semblance of it

The Rockies are without shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for Wednesday night’s game with the Astros. Manager Jim Tracy’s position on Tuesday night was to use Omar Quintanilla at shortstop, with Clint Barmes at second base.

But when he determined his lineup card, Tracy went with Ian Stewart at second and Barmes at short.

Manager Jim Tracy’s position was Stewart poses more of an offensive threat than Quintanilla. Even Tracy said the Astros won’t be fearing Stewart’s .177 batting average. But Stewart has three hits off the Astros this year. All are home runs.

Here are the lineups for Wednsday:

Rockies

Dexter Fowler, CF

Clint Barmes, SS

Todd Helton, 1B

Brad Hawpe, RF

Garrett Atkins, 3B

Seth Smith, LF

Ian Stewart, 2B

Paul Phillips, C

Jason Marquis, P

Astros

Michael Bourn, CF

Miguel Tejada, SS

Hunter Pence, RF

Carlos Lee, LF

Lance Berkman, 1B

Ivan Rodriguez, C

Geoff Blum, 3B

Edwin Maysonet, 2B

Brian Moehler, P

Go Pens! … Nothing wrong with Barmes

As I write, the Penguins are up on the Capitals, 4-0, in the second period of Game 7. How cool.

Good comment on yesterday’s blog: infielder Clint Barmes has been notably absent from the starting lineup, and he isn’t starting tonight, either. It would make some sense to have him at second as another left-handed bat against Astros lefty Mike Hampton. Plus, Barmes hasn’t been in the lineup since Friday, when he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against the Marlins.

Checked with Barmes today. He’s not injured and says he’s ready to play when needed.

A few factors keep Barmes out of the lineup:

– The Rockies are giving third baseman Garrett Atkins more time to overcome his almost season-long hitting slump. Manager Clint Hurdle said he gives a younger player abotu 100 at-bats and a player of Atkins’ experience about 150 at-bats to find his form.

– Stewart hit two home runs last night agianst the Astros. He also has a history of hitting lefties well.

“I want to see him against this left-hander, Mike [Hampton],” Hurdle said. “We know him a little bit, not that ‘Stew’ does. Just watching tape and historically, Mike gets outs. There’s no doubt he can get people out. His walks-to-strikeouts ratio is better against left-handers but the batting average is pretty similar, .284 to .281.

“‘Stew’ still has a pretty good history of hitting left-handed pitching. [Thursday starter Wandy] Rodriguez could present more of a challenge. He’s just off to a tremendous start this year, overall and especially against left-handed hitters. And I want to play off the momentum he was able to create and bring to the table yesterday.”

Here are both lineups:

Astros

Kazuo Matsui            2B

Michael Bourn           CF

Lance Berkman         1B

Carlos Lee                 LF

Miguel Tejada            SS

Hunter Pence            RF

Geoff Blum                3B

Humberto Quintero      C

Mike Hampton            P

Rockies

Dexter Fowler           CF

Troy Tulowitzki         SS

Todd Helton              1B

Ryan Spilborghs        LF

Brad Hawpe              RF

Garrett Atkins           3B

Chris Iannetta             C

Ian Stewart                2B

Jason Marquis             P

Snow, snow, gone away

Is Troy Tulowitzki simply a poor April hitter or is something seriously wrong? Can someone other than Jason Marquis consistently pitch the Rockies deep into games? What will the press meal be at Coors Field? These are a sports writer’s thoughts in the middle of the night. So I woke up at 2:25 a.m. and saw snow covering my yard and car. Woke up at a normal human hour and saw more flakes falling.

Yet, this is Denver. Each time I went outside, I needed to bundle a little less. We have baseball tonight. All questions will be answered eventually.

And the meal was Mexican.

Here are the lineups for Rockies vs. Padres:

Padres

Jody Gerut               CF

David Eckstein         2B

Brian Giles              RF

Adrian Gonzalez      1B

Chase Headley        LF

Kevin Kouzmanoff    3B

Nick Hundley            C

Luis Rodriguez        SS

Chris Young             P

Rockies

Dexter Fowler         CF

Ryan Spilborghs     LF

Todd Helton           1B

Garrett Atkins        3B

Ian Stewart            2B

Clint Barmes         SS

Chris Iannetta         C

Jason Hammel       P 

Jackie Robinson Day, and the goings on of the Rox

Today is 62nd anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier. Everyone is wearing No. 42. I know I would if I had a uniform. But let’s all scribble a “42” in our scorecards today.

This also is one of those rare days where something going on miles away is almost as important as the Rockies-Cubs game today. Triple-A Colorado Springs faces Reno in a few minutes — a special 11:05 a.m. MT start time.

Left-hander Franklin Morales, who held the D-backs to one run and struck out six in six innings to win for the Rockes last week, is starting for the Sky Sox. The Rockies sent him down because they don’t need a fifth starter until April 21. But they also didn’t promise they would bring him back, and they traded for Rays right-hander Jason Hammel. The club also said Hammel is a candidate for rotation work. Hammel had bright spots but oerall a so-so debut, giving up two runs with five hits and two walks in a 2 2/3-inning performance against the Phillies.

Anyhow, to keep up with the Sky Sox’s game, click here to go to MiLB.com audio. You can click on the Sky Sox or the Reno Aces’ broadcast. There have been technical difficulties with the Sky Sox’s streaming broadcast, so the Reno feed is an option.

In Chicago, the Rockies are going with left-handed hitters high in the oder, although that’s not a guarantee of success against Cubs righty Rich Harden. Last year, left-handed batters hit .200 against Harden. Righties did worse, .167.

It’s another tough pitcher for the Rockies, who faced a strong Phillies bullpen for the last two games of a three-game set at Coors and were vanquished by the Cubs’ Ted Lilly on Monday.

“This is the part of the game you embrace, the matchups,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “It doesn’t get any easier. There’s never an off-day when you’re playing. We need to show up and continue to do all the things we did in Spring Training and have trust in all those things that we did.”

Also, right fielder Brad Hawpe, who left Monday’s game with tightness in a left hamstring that gave him problems during Spring Training, is not in the lineup. Ian Stewart will make his first career start in right field.

Here are the lineups:

Rockies

Ryan Spilborghs               CF

Seth Smith                      LF

Todd Helton                     1B

Garrett Atkins                  3B

Ian Stewart                      RF

Troy Tulowitzki                SS

Chris Iannetta                   C

Clint Barmes                   2B

Jason Marquis                  P

Cubs

Alfonso Soriano               LF

Ryan Theriot                   SS

Kosuke Fukudome          RF

Derrek Lee                     1B

Mike Fontenot                3B

Reed Johnson                CF

Geovany Soto                  C

Aaron Miles                   2B

Rich Harden                    P

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

Marquis eases concerns

Right-hander Jason Marquis had struggled all spring, until Monday. He held the D-backs to two runs on three hits and struck ou four in six innings. That was a big performance for Marquis, who is slated to start the Rockies’ April 10 home opener.

Marquis spent the spring tweaking his delivery, but this time he took he mound with the confidence that he had the new mechanics under control.

“I really just went back to my basics today and tried to be an athlete, let my abiliy and talent take over and take the thought process out of it,” Marquis said. “Don’t think about it, and hopefully all the work you put in between starts will be there when you do that.”

Marquis said he wanted to ease any doubts his teammates and the club may have had, even though he didn’t feel anyone with the club was doubting him.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.