Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring Training Hits & Misses: Game 6 vs. Oakland


Juan Nicasio

Nicasio's comeback story gets better and better with each passing day. For the first time since breaking his neck last August, Nicasio threw in a live game against live hitters and was largely successful, allowing only one unearned run on five hits over the three innings. But the numbers truly do mean little in this case, it's just awesome that Nicasio is healthy enough physically and mentally to resume his big league career. He's already the comeback story of the year.

Troy Tulowitzki

You probably won't see guys like Tulowitzki, Gonzalez or Helton listed here often since, you know, they're well established and we kinda know what to expect, but multiple extra basehits (two doubles) on a day the offense did little else is worth recognizing. Tulo remains a stud.


Casey Blake

The 38-year-old veteran, who at this point is fully expected to be the opening day third baseman, is off to rough start this spring. In his initial two starts, Blake has four plate appearances, and each appearance has resulted in a strikeout. Again, we shouldn't look at this too closely at this point, but Blake is definitely among the regulars who needs a good spring in the eyes of the fans. With Nolan Arenado already a huge fan favorite and breathing down his neck, there will be justified discontent if he's simply handed the job despite a lousy spring.

Got Their Work In

Tyler Chatwood

It will be very interesting to see where Chatwood ultimately fits in with the Rockies, At 22, there should be no reason for Colorado to rush him onto their roster this season, but it's entirely possible he'll force his way onto the roster with a big spring, either as a starter or a reliever. Either way, you could see why the Rockies liked him on Friday. He did allow a couple runs (both in his final inning) on four hits over three innings, but four strikeouts and zero walks is what really stands out. He's a guy to watch all spring.

Rafael Betancourt

A 1-2-3 spring debut for the Rockies closer. And I swear he did it in under five minutes.

Ah, yeah, you have to love those young aggressive hitters at the end of spring training games.

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

Despite a ninth inning rally, the Rockies fell short against Oakland, 6-4  That's a four-game losing streak for those who fret about the Cactus League standings.

What's next

The Rockies will rematch with the Kansas City Royals at 1:05 MT. 850 KOA is the place to listen for those in Colorado (I think, unless the CU Buffs are in the Pac 10 Championship Game). The rest can of us can find the audio at (both teams available).

Note: There will be no recap immediately following tomorrow's game as I'll be attending my cousin's wedding in Chicago. Look for double-barreled recaps on Sunday.

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