Results tagged ‘ Jhoulys Chacin ’

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.

Chacin makes most of big chance; Cook pitches

The magic of Rockies right-handed prospect Jhoulys Chacin’s impressive first Major League cmap has been treating every opponent like the Class-A hitters he dominated while winning 18 games last year. He even tried that Monday in his first start in a Cactus League game, against the D-backs. For the most part, he succeeded in treating it like any other game.

“I was excited because it was my first time starting a game, but I felt good and I was doing what I wanted to do,” Chacin said.

Chacin, 21. went three innings and gave up three runs on four hits. he was perfect in the first two innings, but found trouble after Chris Roberson’s leadoff hit in the third. Roberson’s chopper sailed high and Chacin, who probably should have let second baseman Omar Quintanilla make the play, lost the ball in the sun and couldn’t catch it in time to throw to first.

The only solid hit of the innning was Evan Frey’s two-run triple on the only pitch he said he wanted back.

But the inning ended with a nice memory, when he fanned Justin Upton swinging.

“When I’m pitching, I don’t see who’s hitting, so I try to make my pitch — the only thing i can control is making my pitch,” said Chacin, who forced some weak contact with his sinker and had an effective changeup. “But Upton, I wanted to face him. He’s a good hitter and he’s young, too.”

Veteran first baseman Todd Helton gave a whole-hearted endorsement of Chacin.

“I love him,” Helton said. “He kept the ball down, threw strikes. He was working ahead. He doesn’t get rattled when he gets guys on base. He’s easy to play behind.”

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said the Rockies have not discussed whether Chacin will make another Major League start, but there was plenty to like about Monday.

“He wouldn’t have had the year he had last year if he didn’t have a feel for waht he did,” Hurdle said. “He’s being challenged at this level and we wanted to get him out there in a starting opportunity. You saw a kid that’s got good mound presence, can sink the ball.

“He got a little amped up when he had some runners on base, but he did fine today.”

The Rockies haven’t said where Chacin will begin the season, although other top prospects with his resume have started at Double-A Tulsa with the chance to move to Triple-A Colorado Springs or the Majors at some point during the season.

Rockies right-hander Aaron Cook, the No. 1 starter, pitched to a mix of Rockies Minor Leagues and went five innings, with four hits and four runs, three earned, two strikeouts and one walk. He threw 78 pitches.  

A meeting with the D-backs; Baker listed

The Rockies and D-backs meet today at Tucson Electric Park in what turns out to be a matchup of pitching prospects. Not wanting the D-backs to see No. 1 starter Aaron Cook, the Rockies will use their top mound prospect, righty Jhoulys Chacin. The D-backs also are going with a prospect, Cesar Valdez.

Cook is pitching in a 1 p.m. Minor League game at the Hi Corbett Field complex.

Interesting roster note: Infielder Jeff Baker, who has been limited to two games this spring because of an elbow issue, is on the Rockies’ travel roster. I’ll update if more information becomes available.

Here is the lineup:

Dexter Fowler         CF

Clint Barmes          SS

Todd Helton           1B

Ian Stewart            3B

Brad Hawpe           RF

Carlos Gonzalez     LF

Omar Quintanilla     2B

Paul Phillips            C

Jhoulys Chacin        P

 

New week, new pitching schedule

Here is the Rockies’ pitching schedule for the week:

Monday vs. Angels at Hi Corbett Field: Franklin Morales, Huston Street, Jason Hirsh, Juan Morillo and Esmil Rogers.

Tuesday at Brewers at Mayvale Baseball Park (Phoenix): Greg Smith, Alan Embree, Greg Reynolds, Ran Mattheus.

Wednesday, “B” game vs. D-backs: Jason Marquis, Glendon Rusch, Josh Fogg, Huston Street, Taylor Buchholz, Ryan Speier.

Thursday, exhibition vs. Team Mexico (World Baseball Classic) at Hi Corbett Field: Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Brandon Hynick, Shane Lindsay, Steven Register.

Friday vs. Padres at Peoria: Aaron Cook, Huston Street, Alan Embree, Taylor Buchholz, Ryan Mattheus, Esmil Rogers.

Saturday vs. Giants at Scottsdale: Jason Hish, Ryan Speier, Franklin Morales.

To recap, here are the players who are missing because of the World Baseball Classic: catcher Chris Iannetta (Team USA), right-handed starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (Dominican Republic), right-handed closer Manuel Corpas (Panama), right-handed reliever Jason Grilli (Italy) and Minor League right-handed reliever Adam Bright (Australia). Right fielder Brad Hawpe would have played for the U.S., but he suffered a lacerated pinkie on his left (throwing) hand Friday that required four stitches.

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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