Results tagged ‘ Paul Lo Duca ’
Veteran catcher Paul Lo Duca realizes his big league opportunity may come later than sooner.
Lo Duca, in the Rockies’ camp under a Minor League contract, began attracting interest from teams seeking catching help. But a few days ago he suffered a strain beneath his right arm. He’s back on the lineup card for today’s game against the Padres at Hi Corbett Field, and will play first base if used defensively.
There’s still time left in camp, but it’s possible the setback could be enough to dissuade a team from making a move for him. If that’s the case, Lo Ducca, a four-time All-Star Game participant, said he is willing to go to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Lo Duca battled injury in 2008 and did not play in 2009.
“I’m OK with that,” Lo Duca said. “When you haven’t played in a year and a half, basically, you need to get back in the swing of things. To go there and get some at-bats regularly would be great. I know there are a lot of guys there that need to get at-bats, too.
“I just want to keep going. I still have passion for the game. As soon as I got behind home plate, I knew that’s where I want to be still.”
Pitchers have enjoyed throwing to Lo Duca.
“I felt great catching — receiving-wise, and my legs feel great,” Lo Duca said. “My arm did feel great until the other day. I feel good. I feel I can still catch. I always take pride in calling the game and working on strategy with the pitcher.
“I know here would be more as a guy who doesn’t catch every day. I’d only catch certain days and play a little first base. I’m prepared for anything.”
Left-hander Joe Beimel, who reached a Minor League agreement with the club yesterday to join a competitive bullpen association, is scheduled to arrive in Tucson later this morning.
In the meantime, manager Jim Tracy has posted a lineup that, save for the pitcher, looks like something you’d see on Opening Day.
Carlos Gonzalez, LF
Dexter Fowler, CF
Todd Helton, 1B
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Brad Hawpe, RF
Chris Iannetta, C
Ian Stewart, 3B
Clint Barmes, 2B
Jason Hammel, RHP
Two catchers who have been injured recently, Paul Lo Duca (right arm strain) and Paul Phillips (right calf strain) are listed as available on the lineup card. Lo Duca said if he plays defensively, it’ll be at first base.
Righty reliever Rafael Betancourt will make his first appearance of the spring after battling shoulder tightness, and lefty Randy Flores will return after being hit on the throwing forearm by a line drive six days ago.
Right-hander Rafael Betancourt, hampered by right shoulder tightness much of this spring, is set to make his Cactus League debut on Tuesday against the Padres at Hi Corbett Field. Also, left-hander Randy Flores is scheduled to make his return from a bruised left forearm he suffered last Wednesday when hit by a line drive.
Two catchers also are on the mend. Paul Lo Duca has begun playing catch. He has been bothered by a strain beneath his right arm. Catcher Paul Phillips began doing baseball activities over the weekend after being slowed by a calf strain. Third baseman Darin Holcomb, a prospect who has been sent to Minor League camp, has consulted with doctors about a lower back issue, manager Jim Tracy said.
Non-roster catcher Paul Lo Duca suffered an undetermined arm injury and had to leave Friday’s game against the Athletics, but he said he was OK Saturday morning.
“There was just a knot under my arm,” Lo Duca said. “I don’t know what it is.”
Lo Duca said he was sore, but didn’t expect the problem to linger.
Here is the Rockies’ lineup agianst the Angels:
Jonathan Herrera, 2B
Ryan Spilborghs, CF
Jason Giambi, 1B
Miguel Olivo, C
Brad Hawpe, RF
Melvin Mora, 3B
Seth Smith, LF
Clint Barmes, SS
Jeff Francis, LHP
Giambi and Hawpe are getting a coveted chance to see left-handed pitching — the Angels’ Scott Kazmir. The Rockies haven’t faced much of it. Spilborghs is getting a chance to play all three outfield positions this spring. Key relievers scheduled to participate are right-handers Matt Belisle and Justin Speier. Belisle has pitched well this spring, but forearm tightness has limited his appearances. Speier spent the last three seasons with the Angels.
Francis will be tested by an all right-handed lineup (that’s including switch-hitting leadoff man Macier Izturis). Here is the Angels lineup that Francis will face:
Macier Izturis, 2B
Jeff Mathis, C
Juan Rivera, RF
Brandon Wood, 3B
Robb Quinlan, LF
Terry Evans, CF
Freddy Sandoval, 1B
Gary Patchett, SS
Scott Kazmir, LHP
Right-hander Tim Redding’s first Rockies appearance was not as sharp as he wanted. He saw heavy traffic for two innings – three hits and a walk – but yielded just one run in the 8-6 victory over the Brewers.
With two out and one on in the first inning, Jody Gerut drove a 3-0 pitch. Right fielder Ryan Spilborghs tracked it through high winds and chased it to the wall in the corner but could not make the play. Redding though it was going to be a tape-measure home run.
“You don’t think, even in Spring Training games, a guy is going to come out swinging 3-0, so I threw a fastball to get back in there, and try to get him out later on,” Redding said. “The next inning, they had the walk and the hit, then I got a double play and got the pitcher out.
“That was encouraging, knowing that I had first and second, nobody out, then got a double-play ball and got the pitcher to hit the ball on the ground.”
Redding, a non-roster invitee but one the Rockies have attempted to trade for or sign in the past, said he needs to work on pitching inside to left-handed hitters.
Right-hander Jhooulys Chacin, who followed Redding, was charged with three runs, two earned, in two innings. All of the runs came in the third inning.
But the hits were along the ground, and he escaped the inning with a double-play grounder. The first out nearly was a double play, but first baseman Paul Lo Duca, who was charged with the error on Gerut’s hard bouncer, could not scoop shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s throw.
“I was tickled to death with what I saw from both guys,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
It’s time to turn on the radio and dream of a regular season ahead. The Rockies will open Cactus League play today at 1:05 p.m. against the D-backs at Tucson Electric Park. Here is the Rockies’ lineup.
2B Eric Young Jr.
1B Paul Lo Duca
CF Carlos Gonzalez
RF Ryan Spilborghs
LF Seth Smith
C Chris Iannetta
3B Ian Stewart
SS Jonathan Herrera
RHP Jason Hammel
Here is the rest of the Rockies’ pitching schedule for today: LHP Jorge De La Rosa, RHP Manuel Corpas, RHP Juan Rincon and LHP Franklin Morales. The backups, in case any pitcher struggles, are right-handers Alberto Alburquerque, Shane Lindsay, Edgmer Escalona and Andrew Johnston.
D-backs pitchers will be RHP Billy Buckner, RHP T.J. Beam, RHP Bob Howry, LHP Tom Layne and RHP Leo Rosales.
Here are the lineups for today’s intrasquad game, which is starting late but will start shortly:
Away Team (wearing gray pants)
Eric Young Jr., LF
Hector Gomez, SS
Ian Stewart, 3B
Jeff Kindel, 1B
Chris Nelson, 2B
Paul Phillips, C
Cole Garner, RF
Chris Frey, CF
Mike McKenry, DH/C
Pitchers — Chaz Roe, Christian Friedrich, Edgmer Escalona, Craig Baker, Jimmy Gobble, Andrew Graham
Home Team, wearing white pants
Jonathan Herrera, 2B
Omar Quintanilla, SS
Matt Miller, LF
Michael Paulk, RF
Jay Payton, CF
Paul Lo Duca, 1B
Darin Holcomb, 3B
Wilin Rosario, C
Jordan Pacheco, DH/C
Pitchers — Samuel Deduno, Juan Nicasio, Alberto Alburquerque, Shane Lindsay, Andrew Johnston
Rockies manager Jim Tracy is planning on a catching combination, not a catching controversy, with Chris Iannetta and Miguel Olivo.
We have two quality guys that are both going to catch,” Tracy said. “And as we move into the season, we have two quality guys that are both going to catch. And I really believe if we do it that way, we’re going to get the best of both worlds.”
In Spring Training, Tracy is looking beyond the two the team is planning on having on the Opening Day roster.
“We have a veteran presence in Paul Phillips, who did some special things for a good team a year ago, and Paul Lo Duca is in here,” Tracy said. “Not only do you want to feel comfortable with where you are at as you go into Opening Day, but that is a very demanding position. You’re also making sure that you have your optional plans in place, too.”
Discussions of third and fourth catchers when a team is going to have just two might seem trivial. But last year’s two catchers, Yorvit Torrealba and Iannetta, weren’t available for an 11-game win streak that ignited the run to the playoffs. Torrealba was dealing with the kidnapping of his son in Venezuela and Iannetta was out with a hamstring injury.
“Edwin Bellorin [now with the Royals] and Paul Phillips were doing an awful lot of catching,” Tracy said. “We had a four-hit game by Paul Phillips in St. Louis, and one of a little bit of everything — a hit-and-run base hit, a line drive, we used the whole playbook on him, and he responded to all of it. And Bellorin caught a tremendous game in Game 4 of the series against Houston.”