Results tagged ‘ Jim Tracy ’

Taking nothing for granted at wet Coors Field

UPDATE:The Giants pulled catcher Buster Posey from the lineup because of a case of shingles. The revised lineup is below.

Rain and a little lightning hit Coors Field just as the Rockies finished batting practice. The Giants didn’t get to take pregame swings, but all is fine now and there is baseball.

Anyhow, batting practice for the Rockies is a much-needed activity before a confrontation with Giants two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum.

The numbers aren’t that bad. in 10 career starts at Coors, Lincecum is 4-3 with a 3.61 ERA. Overall, the Rockies’ Todd Helton hits .364 with a .475 on-base percentage against him, and several other Rockies have had a smattering of success against him.

But that’s far from thinking the Rockies have Lincecum right where they want him. Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said it’s not as if the Rockies have a magical approach.

“If I had the answer to that question, there would be a lot more people who’d have success against him,” Tulowitzki said.

Manager Jim Tracy offered an easier-said-than-executed formula.

“If you start expanding your strike zone against this guy, he will feast on you,” Tracy said. “He has had a reputation, certainly early on in his career, where he got a lot of oouts where hitters got themselves out. He got a lot of outs by throwing balls that we and other hitters in the league would make strikes. You’ve got to get him into the strike zone.

“And when the pitch shows up to put in play and hit it hard, you can’t swing and miss, you can’t foul it off, you’ve got to get the ball in play and hopefully something positive will happen.”

The Rockies are starting their No. 1, Jeremy Guthrie, who has had scant experience against the Giants. Beyond Melky Cabrera, who is hitting .355 in 31 at-bats, no one has more than six at-bats against Guthrie. Abrey Huff is 4-for-6, and pablo Sandoval is 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Here are the lineups:

Giants

Angel Pagan, CF

Melky Cabrera, LF

Pablo Sandoval, 3B

Aubrey Huff, 1B

Hector Sanchez, C

Nate Schierholtz, RF

Brandon Crawford, SS

Emmanuel Burriss, 2B

Tim Lincecum, RHP

Rockies

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Dexter Fowler, CF

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Todd Helton, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Ramon Hernandez, C

Chris Nelson, 3B

Jeremy Guthrie, RHP

Rockies trainer was first to see Nicasio’s comeback coming

When a player is injured, the team’s head atheltic trainer knows more about the injury, rehab and chances of a comeback better than anyone, save for a doctor. Rockies head athetic trainer Keith Dugger  was the first to see pitcher Juan Nicasio’s miracle return from a broken neck — which culminates with his start against the Astros on Sunday afternoon — coming.

Dugger watched in amazement during the winter as Nicasio, who suffered the injury (along with a fractured skull) when he was hit in the head with a line drive by the Nationals’ Ian Desmond and tumbled to the mound last Aug. 5, threw pitches in the Dominican Republic, with no effects from neck surgery and no referred pain in his muscles. When general manager Dan O’Dowd called and asked if Nicasio would be ready by June, Dugger was the first to say it could be long before that.

In Spring Training, Nicasio proved Dugger correct.

“I was more worried about Spring Training,” Dugger said. “But after that first comebacker [a line drive that buzzed past him in his first spring appearance], I knew we were home free.

“And I think once he gets through a start in Denver, back on the mound where he got injured, he’ll be completely over it.”

Manager Jim Tracy said Nicasio is “way past what happened.”

Nicasio will be backed by a lineup full of changes, as Dexter Fowler, Todd helton, Ramon Hernandez and Marco Scutaro rest.

Rockies batting order

Tyler Colvin, CF

Jordan Pacheco, 3B

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Jason Giambi, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Wilin Rosario, C

Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Juan Nicasio, P

Astros lineup

Jordan Schafer, CF

Jose Altuve, 2B

J.D. Martinez, LF

Carlos Lee, 1B

Brian Bogusevic, RF

Chris Johnson, 3B

Jason Castro, C

Marwin Gonzalez, SS

Bud Norris, P

Rockies’ Tracy lauds MLB for suspension and fine of Jimenez

PEORIA, Ariz. — Rockies manager Jim Tracy welcomed the five-game suspension and undisclosed fine that Indians pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez received for hitting Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the left elbow on Sunday.

The act was ruled intentional, as the Rockies contended. The Rockies traded Jimenez to the Indians last July, and Jimenez and Rockies players have snipped in the media all spring. But Tracy called Jimenez’s hitting Tulowitzki and challenging him from the mound a “gutless act.”

“I have one comment about it, then I want to leave it alone: The professionalism and the integrity of the game is very, important to me,” Tracy said. “I am a big believer in right is right and wrong is wrong. And that was wrong yesterday. It was very wrong.

“To see Major League  Baseball react to the situation in the manner in which it did, it just fortifies the importance of the professionalism and integrity of the game.”

Hitting coach wants better mechanics from Fowler

Rockies hitting coach Carney Lansford heard that center fielder Dexter Fowler visiting Las Vegas with Jason Giambi, Troy Tulowitzki and others for offseason workouts. He saw a stronger Fowler arrive at Spring Training.

Now he is looking at Fowler’s .114 batting average through his first 14 Cactus League games and wondering if there is a connection.

“He lifted a lot this offseason, got a lot stronger, so he’s trying to hit the ball farther, which is a huge mistake for him,” Lansford said Tuesday morning. “I don’t mind him lifting. I just don’t want him changing mechanics from what he did the second half of last season.”

Fowler added a leg kick to his swing in the middle of last season, during a demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs. He returned with improved timing and put up strong second half numbers. But Lansford and manager Jim Tracy have noticed that the kick wasn’t the same. Corrections are being made in hopes of avoiding a slow start, something Fowler has suffered through the last two years.

“He was picking [his foot] up too far, and his hands were not in the right spot, either,” Lansford said. “He’s going back to where he feels comfortable with his hands. He’s actually starting to swing the bat better. We’ve got nine days left. It would be the perfect time to get right, going into the season.

Fowler had another rough day at the plate Monday against the Angels, but Tracy said his swing was bettr and he hasn’t carried his offensive struggles to the field.

Usually the leadoff hitter, or No. 2 hitter on days Tracy experiements with Marco Scutaro in the top spot, Fowler hit eighth Tuesday afternoon against the D-backs. Eric Young Jr. batted leadoff and started in left. Jonathan Herrera, fighting the numbers game for an Opening Day roster spot, is hitting second and Scutaro is batting third.

ROCKIES LINEUP

Eric Young Jr., LF

Jonathan Herrera, SS

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Ramon Hernandez, C

Todd Helton, 1B

Jordan Pacheco, 3B

Tyler Colvin, RF

Dexter Fowler, CF

Jeremy Guthrie, RHP

ROCKIES RELIEF PITCHING

Rex Brothers, LHP

Josh Roenicke, RHP

Rafael Betancourt, RHP

Keith Weiser, LHP

Zach Simons, RHP

D-BACKS LINEUP

Gerardo Parra, LF

Aaron Hill, 2B

Justin Upton, RF

Lyle Overbay, 1B

Ryan Roberts, 2B

Henry Blanco, C

John McDonald, SS

Patrick Corbin, LHP

D-BACKS RELIEF PITCHING

Craig Breslow, LHP

Joe Paterson, RHP

Bryan Shaw, RHP

Mike Zagurski, LHP

Brad Ziegler, RHP

Also, the Rockies are using right-handed pitcher Guillermo Moscoso in a Minor League game.

Pomeranz to pitch today for Rockies AAA; more action to watch on back fields

The Rockies are off today. However, right-hander Drew Pomeranz, who left his last start with tightness in his right glute, will pitch today in a Minor League game against Angels Triple-A players at Tempe. Pomeranz is expected to work around four innings.

Manager Jim Tracy also said several Rockies regulars will be taking at-bats in Minor League games to sharpen themselves for the season. A Major League player can bat in every inning in a Minor League game, which guarantees the plate appearances he needs.

“I’m going to check with Jason Giambi after we get back off the off-day and Todd [Helton] to see if they want additional at-bats from the ones that they’re getting in the [regular] games,” Tracy said. “There is one stipulation. I’m not disrespecting anyone with regard to the statement, but I want them back there on a day when the Double-A and Triple-A clubs are back there. I don’t want them to go back there and hit in an A-ball game, just because you have young kids learning how to pitch.

“Double-A and Triple-A, you see guys that could show up in the Major Leagues. I don’t want one of them [veterans] getting hurt in an A-ball game. That won’t happen.”

Tracy also said switch-hitting leadoff man Dexter Fowler also will get Minor League at-bats. Fowler doubled Tuesday night against the Padres but also struck out twice and his hitting .103. Tracy said the timing of his leg kick is a little off, but he’s not panicking about it.

Keeping it simple for Chacin, who debuts today

Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin’s 2011 season started in glowing fashion, when he held opposing batters to a .201 batting average before the All-Star break. By the end, everything seemed complicated. The Rockies dealt former ace pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez at the trading deadline, and it wasn’t simply enough to pitch. While never asked by his club, there was an implied requirement that he become an “ace,” not just a strong pitcher but a leader and face of the pitching staff.

Manager Jim Tracy’s goal going into 2012 is to make sure Chacin focuses on one simple task that makes everything else possible — repeat his delivery. Repeating the delivery allows him to spot his fastball, which makes his tremendous secondary pitches useful.

The Rockies’ signing of 49-year-old Jamie Moyer, who has a quarter-century on Chacin, and the trade with the Orioles for in-his-prime starter Jeremy Guthrie pretty much takes any leadership burden off Chacin’s shoulders. General manager Dan O’Dowd questioned Chacin’s conditioning before camp began, but Tracy

So Chacin makes his Cactus League debut today against the D-backs at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, and Tracy is telling him to keep it simple.

“I did have a conversation with him in this office,” Tracy said. “It goes back to taking this opportunity in Spring Training to work on his delivery and repeating it, not getting into jerking and stuff like that, where his fastball starts to run away from him. He’s working on pounding his fastball for strikes.

“I personally feel, and you’ve heard me talk about this a lot last year, that if there’s one guy in this camp who can do what we saw last year with an Ian Kennedy [with the D-backs], a guy that is capable of taking a quantum leap, to me it’s Jhoulys Chacin, with much-improved fastball command.”

Here is the Rockies’ lineup, updated with Troy Tulowitzki being scratched because of illness:

Eric Young Jr., CF

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Jason Giambi, DH

Jordan Pacheco, C

Charlie Blackmon, RF

Nolan Arenado, 3B

Chad Tracy, 1B

Jonathan Herrera, SS

A former Rockies top Draft pick, lefty Christian Friedrich, is scheduled to pitch after Chacin. Friedrich, taken 25th overall in 2008, struggled to 6-10 with a 5.00 ERA in 25 starts at Double-A Tulsa last year. But injuries affected his 2010 season and his preparation for 2011. This past winter, he spent time working out with the Phillies’ Cliff Lee, and the Rockies have placed his Spring Training locker beside that of Moyer. Friedrich is in better physical shape, and said the veterans have offered him a high level of information.

Veteran reliever Matt Belisle also is scheduled to throw.

Rockies set lineup for Cactus opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Rockies open the Cactus League schedule against the D-backs on Saturday afternoon. Here is their batting order:

Dexter Fowler, CF

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Tyler Colvin, DH

Ramon Hernandez, C

Nolan Arenado, 3B

Ben Paulsen, 1B

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz will be the starting pitcher, with Josh Outman, Rob Scahill, Matt Reynolds, Zach Putnam and Dustin Molleken are on the throwing schedule, with Mike Ekstrom and Josh Roenicke are scheduled as backups in case an inning gets out of hand.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy wants to be able to use Fowler at leadoff and Scutaro second in the order, but has said that could change. Scutaro hit toward the bottom of the order primarily for the Red Sox last season, but he is coming off a .299 batting average and .358 on-base percentage led the Rockies to plan on him hitting toward the top.

Veterans being given the day off are first basemen Todd Helton and Jason Giambi, and third baseman Casey Blake.

(This from the Rockies’ game notes:)

BROADCAST INFORMATION:Today’s game will be broadcast on Rockies Radio 850 KOA. Fourteen Rockies Cactus League games will be broadcast on 850 KOA, six games on ROOT Sports and 10 games on MLB.TV accessed through coloradorockies.com … The games broadcast on coloradorockies.com will be called by the voices of the Rockies Jack Corrigan and Jerry Schemmel.

Root Sports announces Spring Training schedule

Root Sports Rocky Mountain has released its Spring Training schedule of game telecasts and other programming. Here is the press release:

ROOT SPORTS will televise six spring training games live this season, the network announced today. Coverage begins on March 17, as the Colorado Rockies take on the LA Dodgers at 2 p.m. MT live from Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The Rockies will face the Mariners, Dodgers, Reds and Diamondbacks on ROOT SPORTS during spring training. All games are slated to start at 2 p.m. MT.

ROOT SPORTS will also debut a trio of new programming. On February 17 at 8 p.m. MT, sit with General Manager Dan O’Dowd and the Rockies staff as they plot the team’s offseason trades on the Rockies Winter Meetings Show. The premiere of Rockies All Access begins on March 17 at 5 p.m. with the 2012 Rockies Commercial Show, which gives behind-the-scenes access to the making of the latest Rockies commercials. The skipper also gives us a preview of who will take the field on Opening Day on Rockies Weekly with Jim Tracy (March 25 at 5 p.m.).

 

2012 Rockies Spring Training Telecast Schedule

All times listed are Mountain and subject to change

Date                                       Opponent                                   Time

Sat., March 17                   Dodgers                               2 p.m.

Sun., March 18                  at Mariners                           2 p.m.

Sun., March 25 Reds 2 p.m.

Tue., March 27                  at Diamondbacks                   2 p.m.

 

Mon., April 2 at Mariners 2 p.m.

Tue., April 3 Marines 2 p.m.

De La Rosa leaves with middle finger blister

Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa left Saturday night’s game against the D-backs in the top of the sixth, leading 3-0, with a blister to the middle finger of his pitching hand.

De La Rosa held the D-backs scoreless and struck out five, against three hits and a walk, in 5 1/3 innings at Coors Field. He also drove in a run with a fourth-inning single. De La Rosa threw strikes on 54 of his 87 pitches. No immediate announcement about the nature of the injury was made.

Last year, De La Rosa missed 12 starts with a torn sheath of a tendon on his left middle finger. De La Rosa also has dealt with finger blisters in the past.

It adds to a difficult start of the season for Rockies pitching. Ace Ubaldo Jimenez struggled with neither fastball velocity nor command of any of his pitches in Friday’s 7-6, 11-inning  loss to the D-backs. A cut on his right thumb cuticle, a problem that flared once during Spring Training and cost him a start, was a culprit. It is unclear if he will make his next scheduled start, Thursday against the Pirates at PNC Park.

After throwing a pitch to Justin Upton with one out in the sixth, Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger visited the mound, and manager Jim Tracy removed De La Rosa and replaced him with Matt Belisle with little conversation.

As the Rockies left Spring Training in Scottsdale, Ariz., their backups in case a rotation member had to miss a start were right-handers Greg Reynolds, John Maine and Clayton Mortensen.

Maine won 17 games for the Mets in 2007. He looked ahead of schedule this spring in his recovery from a shoulder surgery last June. Reynolds fought shoulder and elbow issues last year and did not appear in the Majors. Mortensen came in a trade with the Athletics before Spring Training.

Rockies 2011, Day 2

Well, Opening Day didn’t go quite the way the rockies wanted. And Ubaldo Jimenez’s right thumb cuticle was a big part of the problem. We’ll see how the Rockies attack this. They’re already giving Jimenez an extra day, thanks to a scheduled day off for the club and manager Jim Tracy’s policy of giving his pitchers an extra day whenever he can early in the season.

We’ll see if the Rockies skip Jimenez’s next start, Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh, altogether. Manager Jim Tracy manages a team now with the thought that it will be in the race come September and October, and he really hates to do anything in April to risk that plan.
Also, Ian Stewart starts tonight.
Finally, I dispatched this on Twitter yesteday, but it bears repeating:
Twitter is a great place to converse about the game. It’s an absolutely awful place for play-by-play, which many writers and broadcasters want to give you.
The best place for play-by-play is Gameday, our pitch-by-pitch program with awesome graphics, up-to-the-second stats and all the strategic info you need.
Here’s a link to tonight’s game:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_04_02_arimlb_colmlb_1

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