Results tagged ‘ Mark Ellis ’
The idea that outfielder Tyler Colvin is strictly a backup for the Rockies could be changing.
Colvin started in center field, instead of Dexter Fowler, on Saturday against the Dodgers, and manager Jim Tracy said Colvin — hitting .314 with two home runs and 10 RBIs — has earned greater opportunity to start. The Rockies aren’t going away from left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who leads the team in home runs with seven and RBIs with 26, or right fielder Michael Cuddyer, who is hitting .286 with four homers and is tied with first baseman Todd Helton for second in RBIs with 21.
That means Colvin’s starts will come at the expense of Fowler, who is hitting .223 with four homers and 14 RBIs.
Fowler has a .311 on-base percentage and 27 strikeouts in 94 at-bats, and has had two errors and a couple of defensive miscues. Actually, Colvin has an outfield error and 19 strikeouts in 51 at-bats, so he has statistical challenges as well.
“In any given situation he’s made the most of it, whether it’s starting a game, coming off the bench,” Tracy said. “We’ve gotten quality at-bats from him as a starter. He’s done a terrific job as a left-handed pinch-hitter.
“You’ve got to get him out there tonight. He’s pushing the envelope for more time. When a player does that, you have to be mindful of it and create additional opportunities for him to play. He is making a strong statement for himself to get more at-bats than he’s gotten to this point. We’re doing what’s in his best interest and also our baseball team’s best interest in getting him additional opportunity.”
2B Marco Scutaro
3B Jonathan Herrera
LF Carlos Gonzalez
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Todd Helton
RF Michael Cuddyer
CF Tyler Colvin
C Wilin Rosario
RHP Juan Nicasio
SS Dee Gordon
2B Mark Ellis
CF Matt Kemp
RF Andre Ethier
LF Bobby Abreu
3B Juan Uribe
1B James Loney
C A.J. Ellis
RHP Aaron Harang
Dodgers left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly, 36, would be considered an old veteran if he weren’t in the same park as the Rockies’ Jamie Moyer, 49. Just call Lilly a younger version.
Lilly confounds the Rockies. he is 8-2 with a 3.84 ERA in 12 carer starts against them. His start against them tonight comes at a time when the Rockies are struggling to hit any pitcher like him. As the Denver Post’s Troy Renck reported today, Rockies third baseman Chris Nelson is 9-for-19 against lefty starters this season. The rest of the Rockies’ regulars, however, are 29-for-150 so far.
“He has some similarity to our left-hander by the name of Moyer,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “Ted Lilly is a very intelligent pitcher. He has tremendous know-how. He’s not going to give in. Sitting on pitches against Ted Lilly is not a real good thing to do, because he’ll throw any pitch in any count. That’s what makes him successful. He’s very confident that he can do that, especially in hitter’s counts.”
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has especially struggled against lefty starters this year — 3-for-21.
Still, the Rockies want the bat in Tulowitzki’s hands. Seven of Tulowitzki’s 13 RBIs have put the Rockies in the lead. The only players with more game-winning RBis are a pair of Dodgers — Andre Ethier (9) and Matt Kemp (8).
In an interesting lineup move, Eric Young Jr. will start in center field in place of Dexter Fowler and bat leadoff, with second baseman Marco Scutaro dropping from first to second. The switch-hitting Young is 2-for-4 with a triple against lefty pitchers, starters or relievers, this season.
Dee Gordon, SS (.207, 0 HR, 4 RBIs)
Mark Ellis, 2B (.247, 0 HR, 2 RBIs)
Matt Kemp, CF (.417, 12 HR, 25 RBIs)
Andre Ethier, RF (.276, 5 HR, 24 RBIs)
James Loney, 1B (.232, 1 HR, 6 RBIs)
Tony Gwynn, LF (.250, 0 HR, 2 RBIs)
Adam Kennedy, 3B (.059, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
Ted Lilly, LHP (2-0, 0.90 ERA)
Eric Young Jr., CF (.294, 0 HR, 2 RBIs)
Marco Scutaro, 2B (.259, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
Carlos Gonzalez, LF (.303, 4 HR, 18 RBIs)
Troy Tulowitzki, SS (.282, 3 HR, 13 RBIs)
Michael Cuddyer, RF (.299, 2 HR, 12 RBIs)
Ramon Hernandez, C (.246, 4 HR, 14 RBIs)
Chris Nelson, 3B (.226, 0 HR, 4 RBIs)
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP (0-2, 5.85 ERA)
After a slump of about a week and a half, Rockies left-handed relief pitcher Rex Brothers appears to be in better sorts. In his last three appearances, he has thrown three scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, two hits and no walks.
Brothers will need to be at top form with the Dodgers invading Coors Field on Monday night for the opener of a three-game series.
Leading the Dodgers, whose 16-6 record matches 1981 for tthe best start in franchise history, is Matt Kemp, who has a franchise-record 11 April homers and is the early frontrunner for National League Most Valuable Player. In tight, late situations, manager Jim Tracy will not let Kemp beat the Rockes.
In close, late situations, expect Tracy to walk Kemp and let Brothers face Andre Ethier, who is no slouch with five home runs and 24 RBIs — which ties him with memp for the National League lead. Still, that left-on-left matchup is one the Rockies would rather have.
“The deal with Rex Brothers yesterday was to get him right or get him much closer,” Tracy said. “As a matter of fact, he might be there, but monitoring every pitch that he threw yesterday to make sure that there’s availability for this specific situation.”
When Tracy managed the Dodgers a few years back, Kemp was a top Minor League prospect who impressed him during some Spring Training cameo appearances. Kemp went through a difficult 2010 season, but last year he realized his potential and finished second to the Brewers’ Ryan Braun in National League Most Valuable Player voting. Tracy said Kemp should be proud of his growth.
“I tip my cap to the guy,” Tracy said. “When you have young kids that hang on everything that goes on at the Major League level and have an opportunity to identify with a player like this, both character-wise and physically, that’s refreshing.”
Tracy rested right fielder Michael Cuddyer for just the second time this season. Tyler Colvin started in right field. The lineup also has Jonathan Herrera hitting second and playing third base, because Tracy wants to give Chris Nelson a day off because he had fought through left wrist soreness last week. Tracy also said that at some point in the three-game series with the Dodgers, Herrera will start at second base and Marco Scutaro will rest.
Dee Gordon, SS (.207, 0 HR, 4 RBIs)
Mark Ellis, 2B (.247, 0 HR, 2 RBIs)
Matt Kemp, CF (.425, 11 HR, 24 RBIs)
Andre Ethier, RF (.277, 5 HR, 24 RBIs)
James Loney, 1B (.227, 1 HR, 6 RBIs)
Tony Gwynn Jr., LF (.242, 0 HRs, 2 RBIs)
A.J. Ellis, C (.277, 5 HRs, 24 RBIs)
Aaron Harang, RHP (1-1, 5.16 ERA)
Marco Scutaro, 2B (.247, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
Jonathan Herrera, 3B (.296, 1 HR, 3 RBIs)
Carlos Gonzalez, RF (.288, 4 HR, 16 RBIs)
Troy Tulowitzki, SS (.284, 3 HR, 11 RBIs)
Todd Helton, 1B (.270, 4 HRs, 16 RBIs)
Ramon Hernandez, C (.241, 4 HR, 12 RBIs)
Tyler Colvin, RF (.297, 1 HR, 6 RBIs)
Dexter Fowler, CF (.250, 4 HRs, 10 RBIs)
Juan Nicasio, RHP (1-0, 4.76 ERA)
— After hitting and taking groundball Friday, Rockies third baseman Casey Blake — who must prove he is healthy after neck surgery last year to hold onto a starting job — planned a full workout on Saturday with hopes of playing Sunday. Saturday will be the sixth straight day Blake has missed five days because of soreness in the trapezius muscle.
— Left-handed pitcher Jamie Moyer was “virtually pain-free,” according to Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger, when he threw a bullpen session on Saturday morning. Moyer planed a long day of strengthening, flexibility and treatment after the session. Moyer had been scratched from a Minor League start on Friday.
— Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who left Thursday’s start with a blister on his right index finger, said Saturday morning he was about to throw a 30-35-pitch bullpen session. Chacin left his start Thursday with the ailment after throwing 44 pitches in three innings. He said he does not expect to have any problem making his next scheduled start, on Tuesday against the Padres at Peoria, Ariz.
— Chris Nelson, competing to step into the void at third base if Blake can’t answer the bell, will start Saturday against the Dodgers at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Other players in the lineup needing big performances to make the squad are outfielders Eric Young Jr. and Andrew Brown, and catcher Wil Nieves.
— Rockies righty Drew Pomeranz threw 35-40 bullpen pitches Friday, will throw again on Sunday, and will start in a game on Wednesday. Pomeranz left his last start with right glute tightness.
ROCKIES RELIEF PITCHING
Dee Gordon, SS
Mark Ellis, 2B
Andre Ethier, RF
Adam Kennedy, 1B
Juan Uribe, 3B
Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Cory Sullivan, LF
Nathan Eovaldi, RHP
DODGERS RELIEF PITCHING
Alberto Castillo, LHP
Fernando Nieve, RHP
Will Savage, RHP
Ryan Tucker, RHP
Logan Bawcom, RHP
Brent Leach, LHP
The Rockies’ decision to go older this year was designed to increase the team’s savvy and improve situational hitting. But will it hurt the defense?
ACTA Sports, publishers of The Fielding Bible – Volume III, seems to think older is not necessarily better with the glove. The publication points to four moves hurting the defense, under its various formulas that rate players in a category called Defensive Runs Saved.
— The publication reported that right-handed pitcher Aaron Cook, who has signed a Minor League contract with the Red Sox, saved six runs last year and was the main reason the Rockies’ staff was rated best in baseball from a fielding standpoint.
— Mark Ellis, who signed with the Dodgers as a free agent, saved 17 runs last season, and bolstered the defense after arriving in a midseason trade. Marco Scutaro, who played last season for the Red Sox, replaces Ellis.
— The book ranks Michael Cuddyer, a free agent previously with the Twins, as a downgrade from Seth Smith, now with the Athletics, in right field.
— Also, catcher Chris Iannetta, who was traded to the Angels, saved eight runs in what the publication rated as a tremendous defensive year. This year’s publication predicts veteran Ramon Hernandez, who played for the Reds last season, will cost the Rockies four runs.
Overall, The Fielding Bible rated the Rockies fifth overall in the Majors defensively, and is predicting a drop to 14th.
Of course, the Rockies could beg to differ with the publication at two of the positions cited.
— When the Rockies signed Cuddyer, one of the attributes they mentioned was his throwing arm, which they felt was superior to Smith’s and the team has no doubt in Cuddyer’s ability to handle right. Right is roomy at Coors, but Dexter Fowler covers extreme ground in center, and left — where 2010 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner Carlos Gonzalez plays — is considered more challenging than right because of the room that must be covered.
— The Rockies also have confidence in the range of Scutaro. Last season, Scutaro played in 109 games and started 103 at shortstop for the Red Sox. The Rockies want to rest shortstop Troy Tulowitzki more than in the past, and Scutaro’s range makes him a logical option to allow him to do so. The club would have to feel a second baseman with enough range to play short is not a defensive downgrade.
The Rockies’ Seth Smith entered Sunday’s start against the Athletics with a five-game hit streak. He is 3-for-8 with two home runs and six RBIs as a DH.
That coincides with Smith going to a bigger bat, from 34-inch, 31-ounce to 35-inch, 32-ounce. it makes a difference.
“This is the biggest I’ve used,” Smith said. “I tried it in batting practice and liked it.
“It makes you stay back. If you get out on your front foot at all, you’re not going to get the barrel on the baseball. Staying back is the ideal hitting position. And with a heavier bat, I can hit the ball a little bit harder.”
His new bats haven’t arrived, however. He is using Todd Helton’s.
“He’s pretty lenient,” Smith said.
Here are Sunday’s lineups:
Dexter Fowler, CF
Clint Barmes, 2B
Todd Helton, 1B
Brad Hawpe, RF
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Ian Stewart, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
Carlos Gonzalez, LF
Seth Smith, DH
Starting pitcher — Aaron Cook
Adam Kennedy, 3B
Jack Cust, RF
Matt Holliday, LF
Jason Giambi, 1B
Kurt Suzuki, DH
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Ryan Sweeney, CF
Landon Powell, C
Mark Ellis, 2B
Starting pitcher — Vin Mazzaro