Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring Training Hits & Misses: Game 16 vs. Los Angeles


The Home Run Trio

The Rockies feel like they have quality depth in their outfield, and some of that depth was on display today as three outfielders who more than likely won't open the season with the big league club were able to connect for a home run.

The first came from 27-year-old Andrew Brown, who parked a Ryan Tucker offering in the sixth. He also doubled on the afternoon and dropped a looping flyout where he called off Troy Tulowitzki and couldn't finish the play. Next time he'll know better and just let the all-star make the play. Anyway, Brown is the longest shot of the three to ever play with the Rockies, but he looks like he'll be good organizational depth and a better than average insurance policy if injuries begin piling up, especially for a team is short on right-handed outfielders.

The second came from Tyler Colvin, who I'm really, really pulling for to make an impact with the Rockies this season. He would need a couple breaks to make the team right off the bat. And quite honestly, I don't want to see anyone going down to make room for him, but I really like his raw power and his ability to play all three outfield spots and first base. The Rockies will too.

Finally, there was the biggest home run of the game -- a walk-off shot from Tim Wheeler in the ninth. As we know, Wheeler broke out in a big way last season at AA Tulsa and really raised his stock around baseball. Whether or not the Rockies ultimately have a place for him will be an interesting question for a few months down the road, but I think he's going to help the Rockies out one way or another (in Denver or in a trade).

Jeremy Guthrie

He walked his first two batters of the spring today, but aside from that he was his usual solid, top-of-the-rotation self. Keep penciling him in for around 200 innings on the pitching side.

On the offensive side, Guthrie contributed to his own cause with an RBI groundout. A really nice piece of hitting for a guy who's done little of it in his big league. But it's not really a surprise. Guthrie is a good athlete and he has a lot of pride, so while he'll be overmatched more times than not, it won't be for the lack of effort. He's not a guy that will simply mail those at-bats in during the season.

Parker Frazier

I must say it was pretty cool of the Rockies to allow Parker to throw in front of his dad. And then the kid adds to the nice story by throwing a double play ball and rallying from a 3-0 count to strike out the son of another former major leaguer, Dee Gordon (Tom Gordon). It's one of those things only happens in spring training baseball.


Rafael Betancourt

Betancourt was knocked around in his ninth inning appearance today, allowing the Dodgers to plate four runs (tying the game) on six hits. It actually could have been worse if not for a fantastic leaping catch by Charlie Blackmon (more outfield depth on display) against the right field fence.

The good news: It's spring training for Raffy just like everybody else.

The bad news: This will probably happen to him three or four times during the regular season.

More good news: That's normal for a closer.

I'm so, so, so, so glad I wasn't on Twitter to see what people might have said about Betancourt's performance. Thank you Lord for giving me a nice day to set up the laptop outside and for allowing me to just put my feet up and truly take in and enjoy the first official TV broadcast of the season. It was joyous.

Got Their Work In

Matt Belisle looked really good in his inning and a third today... Eric Young continued his little hot streak with a pair of hits, which included a clutch two-out RBI single... Also remaining warm were Wilin Rosario (two hits) and Jordan Pacheco (yet another double).

Oh, yeah, and the score in case you're wondering

I spoiled the ending a little earlier when I mentioned Wheeler's walk-off. That gave the Rockies a thrilling (as spring training can be) 8-6 victory over their division rivals from Los Angeles.

What's next

On one hand, you'll have the Rockies facing the Mariners Sunday afternoon on Root Sports. On the other hand, you'll have another group of Rockies facing the San Diego Padres with no television or audio available. Both games will begin around 2:05 MT (weather permitting).

More Rockies thoughts await you if you follow me on Twitter: @Townie813