Results tagged ‘ Jorge De La Rosa ’

Atkins siezes chance; Time to take notice?

This could turn out well for third baseman Garrett Atkins and the Rockies.

Atkins lashed three hits, including a home run, Wednesday against the Angels, and is back in the lineip for Friday night’s opener of three against the Athletics. If this is Atkins’ showcase for a trade, then so be it.

Atkins has hit .302 (13-for-43) this month, with three home runs and six RBIs in 15 games. Also, the Athletics are starting left-hander Dallas Braden, and Atkins is 9-for-his-last-21 against lefties.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy is proud of how Atkins has worked despite being supplanted by Ian Stewart at third base.

“He has been a complete professional,” Tracy said. “And I really believe if I’m looking at this correctly, from some of the types of at-bats I’ve seen him take as of late, he’s real interested of making a statement, ‘I’m still the Garrett Atkins that drove in over 100 runs three out of the last four years.’

“If he continues to force the issue that way, then obviously he will force our hand to do something very positive for the Colorado Rockies.”

Atkins will hit cleanup and clint Barmes, who went 0-for-12 in three games against the Angels, will bat ninth. Ryan Spilborghs moves into Barmes’ No. 2 hole. Here are the full lineups for both teams:

Rockies

Dexter Fowler, CF

Ryan Spilborghs, LF

Todd Helton, 1B

Garrett Atkins, DH

Brad Hawpe, RF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Chris Iannetta, C

Ian Stewart, 3B

Clint Barmes, 2B

Starting pitcher — Jason Hammel

Athletics

Adam Kennedy, 2B

Jack Cust, RF

Matt Holliday, LF

Jason Giambi, DH

Kurt Suzuki, C

Orlando Cabrera, SS

Ryan Sweeney, CF

Daric Barton, 1B

Jack Hannahan, 3B

Starting pitcher — Dallas Braden

 

 

The Dragonslayer returns

What’s cool about a small-market franchise like the Rockies having success, as they did in 2007, is guys that are considered journeymen can attain immortal status. Infielder Jamey Carroll, now with the Indians, is one. Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba has not had the same playing time he did back then, but his home run to send the Rockies to the World Series will never be forgotten.

Right-handed pitcher Josh Fogg also enjoys a status here that will never die. In 2007, he displayed a penchant for pitching the Rockies to wins when they faced big-name pitcher. Suddenly, folks started calling him The Dragonslayer.

Fogg parlayed his success in Denver into a free-agent contract with the Reds last season. The dragons caught up with him in Cincinnati. Actually, they were the dragons from within. His throwing motion becamre so out of whack that he experienced no success with the Reds, and all he could land was a Minor League deal with the Rockies for 2009. It took until now for Fogg to correct what went wrong.

Now he’s back. The Rockies jettisoned righty Matt Belisle and brought back Fogg for the long relief role. There may be some spot-starts for him, but his role will be out of the bullpen.

It’s a challenge. The sporadic work in the bullpen with the Reds helped lead to the complete destruction of his mechanics. But it’s an opportunity.

He’ll never lose his Dragonslayer status. But that was then. He’ll have to show he can handle his new role to attract greater appreciation.

Fogg’s return in a Rockies uniform — he’ll wear 51 instead of 37, which belongs to Ryan Speier — could be Monday against the Dodgers. But rain falls as this is being written. So if there is baseball, here are the lineups:

Dodgers

Juan Pierre, CF

Russell Martin, C

Orlando Hudson, 2B

Casey Blake, 3B

Matt Kemp, CF

James Loney, 1B

Jamie Hoffman, RF

Juan Castro, SS

Eric Stultz, P

Rockies

Dexter Fowler, CF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Todd Helton, 1B

Ryan Spilborghs, LF

Brad Hawpe, RF

Garrett Atkins, 3B

Clint Barmes, 2B

Yorvit Torrealba, C

Jorge De La Rosa, P

Losing the numbers game … updates on Corpas, Speier

The Rockies have outscored their opponents this season, 115-113. It’s not a dramatic difference, but one would think it would mean a better record than 9-14. It doesn’t.

One way to address it is to say it’s a fluke that’ll correct itself over time. But manager Clint Hurdle isn’t going that route. He freshly remembered the 2007 D-backs being outscored (732-712) yet winning the National League West.

Not only that, but Hurdle is not relying on the mantra of “it’s early” to explain the team’s issues, which have manifested themselves in an 0-7 record in one-run games and being shut out three times.

“I don’t say it’s early now,” Hurdle said. “I want us to play good baseball and I want us to focus on the things we need to play good baseball, so when they’re not happening we need to address them. And I think you can get away with it for the first couple weeks of the season. Then it’s time to move on, time to play better baseball.”

 

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

Jorge De La Rosa           P

Padres

David Eckstein             2B

Brian Giles                  RF

Scott Hairston             CF

Adrian Gonzalez          1B

Chase Headley            LF

Kevin Kouzmanoff        3B

Henry Blanco               C

Luis Rodriguez            SS

Kevin Correia                P

– In a non-development, right-hander Manuel Corpas is still on the club. Of course, if he doesn’t pitch better, the possibility of a demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs looms large. Hurdle spoke in an encouraging tone about Corpas on Monday, however.

“He’s worked very hard on making those adjustments,” Hurdle said. “Guys go down and watch him in the bullpen, and you see what you want to see in the bullpen. It’s transferring it into the game, and we’ve had multiple conversations. We’ve coached him up, encouraged him on the value and significance of the role he has now. He’s been there. He’s done it. He can see it from a closer’s mentality.

“We’re at the point now where we’re going to have to find him a game here or there where we’re up or down a little bit where we remove him from the flame a little bit.”

– Righty releiver Ryan Speier said he felt good after throwing a simulated game Monday afternoon. Now it’s a matter of working on his lowered arm slot, which could take a few outings. He plans to go to the extended spring training in Tucson so he can throw without the risk of being hung with negative stats. That could take one, two or three games, then he’d be ready for an injury rehab assignment.

No patience with walks

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle has attempted to maintain a consistent and calm demeanor, even though the execution and fundamentals the Rockies emphasized all spring have been lacking. But that patience disappears when relievers can’t throw strikes in the late innings of close games.

Huston Street lost his closer job that way last week at Wrigley Field. Tuesday night, Hurdle unceremoniously yanked righty setup man Jason Grilli when he walked two in the eighth inning of the 9-6 victory over the D-backs.

There would have been cause for Hurdle to try to let Grilli escape. By using lefty Alan Embree to complete the inning, Hurdle left himself with only Manuel Corpas to finish the game. The only other reliever on the squad, Jason Hammel, had thrown two innings the previous game, and Franklin Morales’ injury early in Tuesday’s game meant Hammel was going to move into the starting rotation.

But he was not going to lose a game because Grilli wasn’t throwing strikes.

“We’ve got no time for walks late in ballgames,” Hurdle said. “Nobody. We’re not going to put up with that. If you can’t throw the ball over the plate late in a ballgame, I’ve got to get somebody else. It’s that simple.

“If you want more, and you’ve got an opportunity to do more but you walk two left-handed batters and you’re missing on your arm side six or seven straight pitches, I’ve got to go get you. He knows that.

“You saw the guy two nights ago, then you saw the guy last night. I asked him, ‘Which guy are you?’ That’s part of the challenge that’s in front of him. If you want more, do more.”

Here are the lineups for Wednesday afternoon:

Rockies

Ryan Spilborghs              CF

Jeff Baker                        2B

Todd Helton                     1B

Garrett Atkins                  3B

Brad Hawpe                     RF

Troy Tulowitzki                SS

Chris Iannetta                   C

Seth Smith                      LF

Jorge De La Rosa              P

D-backs

Felipe Lopez                   2B

Stephen Drew                 SS

Conor Jackson                LF

Mark Reynolds               3B

Chad Tracy                    1B

Chris Young                   CF

Eric Byrnes                    RF

Chris Snyder                   C

Dan Haren                      P

Torrealba gets matchup, Iannetta gets work

The Rockies have drawn a tough matchup in the Phillies’ Brett Myers, who is 6-0 in seven career games against the Rockies. But one player who hits him well is catcher Yorvit Torrealba (3-for-7), and that’s one reason he is in the starting lineup Saturday night. Another reason is to allow catcher Chris Iannetta to work with hitting coach Don Baylor. Iannetta homered in the opener but that is his only hit in 11 at-bats. Here are the lineups:

Rockies

Ryan Spilborghs         CF

Seth Smith                 LF

Garrett Atkins             3B

Brad Hawpe                RF

Troy Tulowitzki            SS

Yorvit Torrealba            C

Clint Barmes              2B

Jorge De La Rosa         P

Phillies

Jimmy Rollins             SS

Shane Victorino          CF

Chase Utley               2B

Ryan Howard             1B

Jayson Werth            RF

Raul Ibanez               LF

Pedro Feliz               3B

Chris Coste                C

Brett Myers                P

 

 

Breathing easily

Good evening, everyone. It’s Thursday evening. If you’re back in Denver, sorry. That is, unless you enjoy shoveling snow. Some folks do. All I can say is I admire you.

Anyhow, I have a few thoughts about this afternoon’s 8-6 loss to the Dodgers, besides whatever appears in stories on the site. Here goes:

– Todd Helton had two doubles and is up to .423 in the Cactus League. Great sign, but what impressed me today was what I saw from him defensively. He dove for a hit that turned into an RBI double, but he didn’t hesitate to make that dive. After years of back problems, he wouldn’t have been blamed for thinking twice about it. Who knows? Maybe the intensity of a regular-season game would have given him the reach he needed to make that play. He also made a nice pickup and throw to the plate to cut down a runner.

Manager Clint Hurdle knows he needs to keep an eye on Helton’s back. But he also sees a player who doesn’t leave him breathless with worry.

“He is playing with freedom,” Hurdle said. “I am by no means on the edge of my seat watching his every move.”

– Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa had a bad inning, when he gave up five runs in the fourth. He also had four clean innings. So you can take what you want from this one. He could have minimized the damage, but walked pinch-hitter Doug Mientkiewicz and opened the door for the Dodgers. Breezing through the next inning was a good sign, but you’d like to see him stop trouble when it’s in progress.

Despite the 9.42 spring ERA, there is no wavering on De La Rosa as the No. 4 starter. 

– Outfield backup hopeful Scott Podsednik went 0-for-4 and is down to .231. He will need a strong finish to secure a job, especially with Matt Murton and Daniel Ortmeier hitting well and Dexter Fowler trying to change the thinking that he needs time in Triple-A. If the Rockies don’t go with Podsednik, they lose experience. Podsednik readily shares his knowledge with fellow outfielders, but production trumps that.

– One moment looked scarier from the press box than it was. On one of the two times catcher Chris Iannetta threw out a runner attempting to steal, he was hit on the left arm by backswinging bat. But Iannetta didn’t flinch. Getting clubbed with a bat is just part of the job.

That’s it for tonight. I need to pace myself. Tomorrow I’ll hit you with some thoughts on the closer competition, specifically where Manuel Corpas stands in the competition with Huston Street. 

Calling out the pitchers

Rockies right-hander Jason Marquis upheld a tradition for veteran pitchers. After some ugly numbers Saturday against the Mariners — 3 2/3 innings, nine hits, five runs, two walks, 88 pitches — he chalked it up to just being in Spring Training.

“For the most part, I executed a lot of pitches like I wanted to, and [hits] found some holes,” Marquis said. “A lot of positives, a lot of two-strike counts. It was a step in the right direction. I got my pitch count up. That’s why we’re here, to work on a few things, get some things straightened out. I think I’ve got four starts left.

“I didn’t really use my changeup as much as I would during the season. I was trying to get my curveball over for a strike — not only for a strike, but bury it when I needed to and throw it for a strike when I needed to. There were certain counts when I don’t think I would have thrown my curveball normally, but today I did. I tried to get a better feel for a cutter, not spinning it so much.”

Normally, that’s a right afforded pitchers who have been around. Marquis qualifies, having pitched for the Braves, Cardinals and Cubs.

But manager Clint Hurdle wasn’t as happy with Marquis’s direction.

“He had too many deep counts,” Hurdle said. “As a staff, we’re not executing anywhere near the level we’re going to need to execute to be successful. As a group, we’re talking about throwing 70 percent first-pitch strikes. We’re not doing it. We’re talking about acute location of our fastball, arm-side. We’re not doing it, so more of the same today.

“We’ve got some guys that are showing some flashes of some things, but as a staff, we’ve got to cover some ground here.”

Informed that Marquis said he was working on some pitches, Hurdle sounded as unhappy with the explanation as the performance.

“It’s time they started making comments after a game that ‘I commanded my fastball, I threw strikes, my slider was sharp, I had a good sinker,'” Hurdle said. “That’s what we need to start doing.”

It was clear Hurdle was delivering a message, not just to Marquis but to all of the starters. Only Aaron Cook and Ubaldo Jimenez, who has done his most-recent pitching for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, have been consistently solid. 

It’s not as if Hurdle threatening massive changes in the rotation. The Rockies traded for Marquis to provide veteran leadership. That won’t change. Hurdle has been exceedingly patient with Jorge De La Rosa, who has struggled his last two times out and will meet the Dodgers on Sunday. The team is still trying to sort through a host of pitchers for the fifth starting spot.

Hurdle’s call for better quality might be as much a clarification as a declaration.

Some of the ugly early performances from starters occurred because the pitchers were under orders to work on one thing — fastball command — and had to pitch to a specific pattern. Hitters quickly figured out what pitch was coming. The Rockies relaxed those orders after each pitcher had a couple of starts.

But how close are the Rockies supposed to be to the form they need for a regular season that starts 23 days from now? The way Hurdle spoke on Saturday, it’s not close enough.

– Hurdle also was not happy with right-handed reliever Jason Grilli, who pitched well for Italy in the World Baseball Classic but gave up three hits and two runs in his inning.

“We’ve got to have improved focus and discipline off the mound,” Hurdle said. “Twenty pitches, poor fastball command, pitching one side of the plate. We’ve got way to many guys pitching one side of the plate that aren’t good enough to be pitching one side of the plate. These are things and areas we need to target and work on as we move forward.”

– Left-handed non-roster candidate Cedrick Bowers gav eup three runs on one hit and two walks before leaving with a back/rib cage injury that has hampered him all spring.

– Righty Ryan Speier continued his scoreless spring (six innings) by giving up one hit and a walk but striking out two in the ninth.

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.

 

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.

Lineups are in, Baker is out

The Rockies put up a lineup for this afternoon against the Dodgers, and already have a change. Jeff Baker was supposed to be designated hitter, but he was scratched for Matt Murton because of tenderness in his right elbow.

Speaking of injuries, third baseman-outfielder Ian Stewart said he is gradually healing from a left biceps strain he suffered while swinging before Thursday’s game. Stewart said he is hoping to return to the batting cage on Sunday.

So here’s today’s lineup:

Eric Young Jr.            2B

Scott Podsednik        LF

Troy Tulowitzki          SS

Matt Murton              DH

Yorvit Torrealba          C

Daniel Ortmeier        1B

Carlos Gonzalez       CF

Christian Colonel      RF

Jason Marquis          P

Jorge De La Rosa and Josh Fogg also are schedueld to throw two innings apiece.

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