Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Training Game 20: Hits, Misses & Foul Tips

Rockies 11, Rangers 10 (boxscore)


Ian Stewart

The most important thing to take away from tonight's game is how good Ian Stewart looked at the plate and in the field. His timing was good. His movement was good. He didn't look like a guy that missed 2 1/2 weeks. Now hopefully he feels good tomorrow and can build enough stamina and confidence in his knee to be a go on opening day.

The Home Run Parade

Ty Wigginton, Jason Giambi, Mike Jacobs and then the big game-tying job by Cole Garner in the ninth inning. Good to see the baseball exploding off some bats, regardless of how hitter friendly that ballpark appeared to be.

Willy Taveras

Three more hits and three RBI after filling in for an injured Dexter Fowler. Great, great spring for Willy. He's going to make it excruciating on the coaches to not select for the roster, but that's still not likely unless Fowler's quad lingers.

Charlie Blackmon

Blackmon has been impressive all spring, but you really have to value night's like tonight where he battles and succeeds against one of the toughest lefties in baseball in CJ Wilson. He's knocking on the door. Not sure when he'll get an answer, but he's knocking.


Jason Hammel

Statement: I'm not worried about Jason Hammel. End of statement.

Hammel had little command of all of his pitches, against a really good lineup, in a ballpark where the baseball flies like crazy. When you mix those components together, it often equals disaster. Tonight was indeed a disaster, but every pitcher has one or two every season, it's unavoidable, so getting one of the way now isn't the worst thing in the world.

Repeating statement: I'm not worried about Jason Hammel.

Foul Tips

Eric Young

Young did reach base three times tonight, which is exactly what you want from your lead-off man. Unfortunately, he made an out on the bases twice. One was just a lack focus rounding first base, not knowing what was happening ahead of him. The other was a straight caught stealing.

Young's greatest strength is his speed, but poor instincts and focus are offsetting that and hurting his value to the team. He also made two very poor throws to first base, which won't ease any of those concerned about his defense.

Granted, Young is just getting his feet under him this spring due to his leg injury, but he has to step up soon. I mean really step up. He can't just show he's healthy and be penciled on this roster, he has to prove he's ready to play good, solid baseball. If he doesn't, the Rockies will be left making a big decision.