Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Training Hits & Misses: Game 26 vs. Arizona


Eric Young Jr.

On a day the Rockies offense was shut down by Diamondbacks prospect Patrick Corbin, Young at least did his part out of the leadoff spot reaching base three times (two hits and a walk).

With the news you'll read about below, Young's chances of making the opening day roster have increased significantly. And I'm fine with that. He's played well this spring and earned the opportunity. But if he gets the spot he'll have to play well to hold on to it because Charlie Blackmon will get healthy eventually and Nolan Arenado is a candidate to be called up any time starting in June.


Jeremy Guthrie

6 IP, 6 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 2 K

Guthrie was due for his spring disaster start, so we'll acknowledge it as such, mark it down as a miss and move along.

Casey Blake released

This news broke during the early portion of today's game and the timing probably caught a few people off guard. It sounds as though the Rockies simply came to the conclusion that Blake's body won't hold up, and they don't have time or room to double check that. To benefit themselves (more at-bats for Chris Nelson and Jordan Pacheco over the next week) and Blake (allows him to sign elsewhere prior to opening day) they released him and will now save a big chunk of the $2 million he would have been owed had he made the team.

It would have been great if Blake had worked out in Colorado. Actually, it would have been better than great... it would have been perfect. He's a great guy, a leader, and even on the downside of his career, a productive third baseman. Exactly what the Rockies needed at that position while Nolan Arenado continued his development in Tulsa. But remaining healthy was the key for Blake coming off neck surgery, and that 10 day break he needed early in spring training was too big a concern to ignore.

That, coupled with the play of Nelson and Pacheco, made this move an easy decision for the Rockies. There's no place for Blake on their bench since they're already a little bit limited with Jason Giambi there, so you move on. Now it's up to Nelson and Pacheco to really step forward and own this opportunity they're getting. Ideally, the Rockies will be able get through the entire season with this platoon and allow Nolan Arenado one more full season in the minors. Unfortunately, that's probably not realistic, so the Rockies will have some interesting evaluations to make on Arenado early in the season.

For now, though, I certainly wish Casey Blake good health and the best of luck in whatever he decides to do next.

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

The Diamondbacks got five hitless innings from Patrick Corbin — he also singled and tripled — and never looked back as they overwhelmed the Rockies and Jeremy Guthrie by a score of 7-3.

What's next

The Rockies will take on the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday at 2:10 MT. Head over to the 850 KOA website or MLB.com and listen in as Jamie Moyer attempts to solidify his spot in the starting rotation.

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