Results tagged ‘ Justin Upton ’

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.

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.

Tracy sees positives in Corpas’ return


 
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Righty reliever Manuel Corpas, who missed the second half of last season with elbow issues, walked two and gave up a hit but didn’t surrender a run in his return to the mound, in the fifth inning of Monday’s 11-1 Cactus League-opening victory over the D-backs at Tucson Electric Park.

Corpas, who hasn’t regained the form he showed as closer for the 2007 National League Champion Rockies, finished on a high note, by working Justin Upton into a double-play grounder.

“He was missing, but in missing he was missing down in the zone,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “They were not non-competitive misses, but they were balls down out of the zone. The area where we want the ball to be was correct, but the command of the area, the ocntrol of the area, was not exactly where we’ve seen Manny Corpas be in the past.

“He’s aware of it. He’ll get there. But what I liked about it was he kept his shoulders back, real broad, when he needed to make a pitch, and got a double-play ball, inning over.”

 

Not worried about the West

Rockies manager Jim Tracy was asked about his team’s 16-22 record against the National League West. His reply was, essentially, the record isn’t as bad as it looks.

“I don’t think we’ve had struggles inside the National League West,” Tracy said. “I think we had some struggles specifically with one club in the early part of the season. But as far as the rest of the division is concerned, we played very good baseball.”

 

That one club, of course, is the Dodgers, against whom the Rockies are 2-10.

 

“And as we go forward, we have to be mindful of that, and hopefully through the months of August and September rectify that situation somewhat,” Tracy said. “I said at the end of the L.A. series, we’re 2-10 against them, I believe. But as far as I’m concerned, you can take those 12 games and throw them out the window because the six games we have left with them are the most important. Not to say that the other 12 weren’t, but they don’t have much baring moving forward because of where we’ve come from and where we’re at sitting here today.”

 

Well, that’s a subject for another time. The Rockies first post-All-Star break series at home is against the D-backs. And the Rox are 4-5 against them.

 

Here are the lineups:

 

D-backs
Stephen Drew, SS
Ryan Roberts, 2B
Justin Upton, RF
Mark Reynolds, 1B
Gerardo Parra, LF
Chris Young, CF
Luke Carlin, C
Augie Ojeda, 3B
Doug Davis, P
 
Rockies
Dexter Fowler, CF
Clint Barmes, 2B
Todd Helton, 1B
Brad Hawpe, RF
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Ian Stewart, 3B
Seth Smith, LF
Chris Iannetta, C
Jorge De La Rosa, P
 
In another development, outfielder Ryan Spilborghs is not with the team tonight. He is with his wife, Stacey, for the anticipated birth of the couple’s first child. Spilborghs earlier announced that the girl will be named Kierra Esperanza Spilborghs, in honor of Ryan’s mother, Esperanza, who died during Spring Training after a long illness.

Helton takes a seat

The Rockies promised all along that they would be smart about first baseman Todd Helton’s playing time, since he’s 35 and coming off back problems. So he did not start agianst D-backs left-hander Doug Davis on Wednesday. The team is off on Thursday, so he’ll go into Friday’s home opener with plenty of rest.

Right fielder Brad Hawpe was the only left-handed hitter in the lineup. It’s the first start of the year for center fielder Dexter Fowler, third baseman Jeff Baker and catcher Yorvit Torrealba.

Here’s the Rockies’ lineup:

Dexter Fowler            CF

Troy Tulowitzki          SS

Ryan Spilborghs        LF

Garrett Atkins            1B

Brad Hawpe               RF

Jeff Baker                 3B

Clint Barmes             2B

Yorvit Torrealba           C

 

Here is the D-backs’ lineup against lefty Franklin Morales.

Felipe Lopez               2B

Stephen Dres              SS

Chris Young                CF

Conor Jackson             1B

Mark Reynolds             3B

Eric Byrnes                  LF

Chris Snyder                 C

Justin Upton                RF

Doug Davis                   P

 

 

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