Results tagged ‘ Rockies ’

Chacin leads Rockies against Royals

Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin’s spring devoted to fastball command continues today as he starts for the Rockies, and most likely goes three innings, against the Royals at Surprise Stadium. Also, fast-working lefty Christian Friedrich will appear, on the heels of his two scoreless innings with one hit and two strikeouts against the D-backs five days ago. Friedrich entered camp as a darkhorse candidate for the starting rotation, and has been impressive.

Center fielder Dexter Fowler is the only clear starter in the lineup, but the game is a big one because several players seeking key reserve roles made the trip.

Rockies batting order

Eric Young Jr., LF

Dexter Fowler, CF

Charlie Blackmon, RF

Brandon Wood, SS

Nolan Arenado, 3B

Chad Tracy, 1B

Chris Nelson, 2B

Brendan Harris, DH

Wil Nieves, C

Rockies pitchers

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP

Christian Friedrich, LHP

Rex Brothers, LHP

Matt Belisle, RHP

Joe Gardner, RHP

Dustin Molleken, RHP

Stephen Dodson, RHP

Royals batting order

Alex Gordon, LF

Johnny Giavotella, 2B

Eric Hosmer, 1B

Billy Butler, DH

Mike Moustakas, 3B

Jeff Francoeur, RF

Lorenzo Cain, CF

Alcides Escobar, SS

Royals pitchers

Luis Mendoza, RHP

Joakim Soria, RHP

Sean O’Sullivan, RHP

Tim Collins, LHP

Noel Arguelles, LHP

Nicasio to pitch against Athletics; Smith not making trip

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio, coming back from a broken neck that he suffered last year, gets his first Cactus League outing today against the Athletics at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Nicasio threw two impressive innings in an intrasquad game on Sunday. Listen free to an exclusive webcast.

Nicasio has insisted all along he has no fear of balls coming back to him. He suffered the frightening injury last Aug. 5, when a line drive from the Nationals’ Ian Desmond struck him in the temple.

Interestingly, the Athletics have agreed to forego the designated hitter, so Nicasio will also have to bat.

For the second time this spring, the Rockies are starting Charlie Blackmon in the leadoff spot. Blackmon, batting for the fourth outfield spot, homered off the Giants’ Tim Lincecum on Wednesday. Also, catching prospect Wilin Rosario will start.

The Athletics are not bringing former Rockies outfielder Seth Smith, who was sent to Oakland during the offseason for pitchers Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman.

Here are the lineups:

ROCKIES BATTING ORDER

Charlie Blackmon, CF

Marco Scutaro, 2B

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Casey Blake, 3B

Wilin Rosario, C

Juan Nicasio, P

ROCKIES SCHEDULED RELIEVERS

Tyler Chatwood, RHP

Edwar Cabrera, LHP

Rafael Betancourt, RHP

Stephen Dodson, RHP

ATHLETICS BATTING ORDER

Jemile Weeks, 2B

Eric Sogard, SS

Coco Crisp, CF

Josh Reddick, RF

Kurt Suzuki, C

Brandon Allen, 1B

Josh Donaldson, 3B

Brandon Moss, LF

Brandon McCarthy, RHP

ATHLETICS SCHEDULED RELIEVERS

Jerry Blevins, LHP

Andrew Carignan, RHP

Grant Balfour, RHP

Fabio Castro, LHP

Pomeranz leads Rockies vs. Royals; also, Rox face M’s in B game

Rockies left-hander Drew Pomeranz hopes to build on his scoreless two innings in the team’s Cactus League opener, a 1-1 tie with the D-backs on Friday afternoon, when he faces the Royals today. Fans can see the contest via a webcast. The game will start at 1:10 p.m. at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Felipe Paulino, formerly with the Rockies, will pitch for Kansas City.

Additionally, the Rockies and Mariners will play a B game at Salt River Fields at 10 a.m. on Field 1, which is just beyond the right-field corner of the main stadium.

Here is the Rockies’ batting order for the main game:

Dexter Fowler, CF

Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Jordan Pacheco, 1B

Jason Giambi, DH

Ramon Hernandez, C

Tyler Colvin, RF

Casey Blake, 3B

Chris Nelson, SS

Tim Wheeler, LF

Here is the pitching plan:

Drew Pomeranz, LHP

Josh Outman, LHP

Matt Belisle, RHP

Edgmer Escalona, RHP

Dustin Molleken, RHP

Edwar Cabrera, LHP

Joe Gardner, RHP

Here is the Rockies’ lineup for the the B game against the Mariners:

Eric Young Jr., 2B

Brendan Harris, RF

Brandon Wood, 3B

Chad Tracy, 1B

Ben Paulsen, DH

Andrew Brown, LF

DJ LeMahieu, SS

Jamie Hoffmann, CF

Lars Davis, C

Here is the pitching plan for the B game:

Rob Scahill, RHP

Carlos Torres, RHP

Josh Sullivan, RHP

Mike Ekstrom, RHP

Josh Roenicke, RHP

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.

Items of interest for today’s Rockies intrasquad game

– Rockies fans in the Scottsdale area can watch the game from a berm above Field 1 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. But get there early for the game, which should start at 10 or 10:15 a.m. The scrimmage might not go more than 4 1/2 innings.

– Eric Young Jr. has played the outfield twice, in Friday’s intrasquad game and Saturday’s 1-1, 10-inning tie with the D-backs in the Cactus League opener. But he will play second base Sunday.

– The intrasquad contest will be the first game action for right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio, who has made remarkable progress in his return from a broken neck that he suffered when hit in the face by a line drive last season.

– There is plenty of competition for outfield jobs. Charlie Blackmon, Tyler Colvin and non-roster candidates Andrew Brown and Jamie Hoffmann will be competeing in the game.

– Righty Tyler Chatwood, obtained from the Angels for catcher Chris Iannetta during the offseason, makes his Rockies debut. Chatwood threw 142 innings for the Angels last year at age 21.

– Two hard-throwing relievers who could make a big impact thsi year — left-hander Rex Brothers, who is in line for chances to close games when Rafael Betancourt needs a rest, and right-hander Edgmer Escalona, who showed promise during a late call-up last season — are scheduled to appear.

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.

Publication believes age will hurt Rockies’ defense

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.

 

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.

Rockies, Belisle reach contract extension

DENVER — The Rockies and right-handed reliever Matt Belisle on a one-year contract extension through 2013, the club announced Friday morning. Terms were not immediately known.

Last season, Belisle, 31, went 10-4 — a career high for wins in a season — with a 3.25 ERA in 74 appearances. Belisle has appeared in a career0high 76 games the previous year, and over the last two years is 17-9 with a 3.07 ERA.

This is the third time Belisle and the Rockies have reached an agreement in about a year. He signed a one-year deal last winter to avoid arbitration, then he and the Rockies worked the agreement into a two-year, $6.125 million contract.

Belisle, who joined the Rockies as a non-roster invitee in 2009, is 36-32 with a 4.48 ERA, 401 strikeouts and 131 walks in 306 appearances, including 43 starts, with the Reds (2003, 2005-08) and the Rockies.

Flurries fall, but baseball is in the air, thanks to Rocky Mountain SABR

The snow flurries are much lighter now than they were an hour or so ago. Perfect time to think about baseball. Pitchers and catchers are days from reporting to Spring Training, but that doesn’t mean baseball-minded folks aren’t mentally into the season already. One of the rites of this time of year is SABR Day in America tomorrow. Across the country will be celebrations of baseball. In Denver, the Rocky Mountain SABR chapter will have its annual hot stove meeting at the Blake Street Tavern (near Coors Field) at 11 a.m.

The event always is entertaining, educational and moves fans’ thoughts to baseball.

There will be a brief look back to last season, with the awarding of the champion of the Rockies prediction contest, to the participant who came closest to the number of wins for the Rockies in 2011.

One highlight is the way members turn education and research into entertainment. This year, Matthew Repplinger, the new chapter president, and Alan Rice will do a presentation on the expansion and contraction of the Minor Leagues, 1953-2011.

That is followed by the Sylvester Report, an anticipated speech and question-and-answer session with Rockies baseball operations member Walter Sylvester, who can discuss stats and styles of players on the team’s Major League roster and through its Minor League system. The questions from the fans are often pointed and always backed by knowledge, and Sylvester doesn’t duck any of them.

Finally, the plan is for a massive game of catch. Last year members conducted it in one of the parking lots near Coors Field. A certain baseball writer with a chronically sore throwing shoulder even donned catcher’s gear. The gear may stay packed Saturday, but we’ll see.

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