Monday, March 5, 2012

Spring Training Hits & Misses: Game 2 vs. Arizona


Nolan Arenado

Baseball player. Good at-bats all day. Fine defense. We're two games in and I'm already ready to pencil him into the Opening Day lineup.

Will it happen? Not likely.

Should it happen? People smarter than me will say no, but I just know the idea is to have the best players on the field when the season starts, and I have a difficult time believing he won't be the best option at third base. We shall see.

Christian Friedrich

Big first outing for Friedrich as he looks to reestablish himself as a top level prospect and future fixture in the Rockies rotation. Over his two innings of work, he allowed one hit while striking out two, and according to Troy Renck, worked quickly and calmly throughout. For now, consider Friedrich a real longshot in the starting rotation mix, but that could easily change to sleeper if he strings a few more outings like this together. A little consistency will go a long way for him.

It was also noted by Thomas Harding on Twitter that Friedrich is working closely with Jamie Moyer and is putting his advice to good use early in camp. That further justifies Dan O'Dowd's decision to bring Moyer in.

Ben Paulsen

Want to get on the hit list? I think the best way to do that is hitting a walk-off home run, and that's exactly what Paulsen did today, leading off the ninth inning with a line drive over the right field fence. Of course, Paulsen, a first base prospect on the rise, didn't start today's game because Tracy Jr. got that nod, and for the love of God I hope that doesn't continue happening as the spring moves along. Paulsen deserves to log as many innings as he can handle when Helton and Giambi aren't playing.


Alex White

This obviously has nothing to do with today's game but rather his DUI arrest over the weekend. Bad, bad, bad decision for anybody to make, but especially a guy in White's position. Knowing how seriously the Rockies handle these things, it's entirely possible White has already blown his opportunity to make the opening day roster with this enormous misstep, and it would be difficult to blame the Rockies if that's the direction they go. At the very least it has put the microscope on his performance even more and tightened his margin for error.

Ultimately, though, I still believe White will be a contributor this season, but the seriousness of this cannot be overlooked. I can tell you point blank I will support however the Rockies decide to handle this because I personally have zero tolerance for drunk driving and this type of foolishness. But if there's any positive that can come from this, hopefully it's that White will have learned his lesson, will grow up a little faster, and will put his focus where it belongs.

Got Their Work In

Juan Nicasio

Nicasio continued his comeback story with an appearance in Sunday's intrasquad game. Troy Renck has the details in his Denver Post blog.

Jhoulys Chacin

Two innings, 29 pitches, 21 strikes. two hits, three runs (one earned), one strikeout and one walk on the day for Chacin. Most of the damage came in the first where his own throwing error and a throwing error from Tracy Jr. led to the two unearned runs. The walk also came in that inning, so it was pretty sloppy all the way around. The second inning was less sloppy, but Gerardo Parra still tagged him for a solo home run.

I guess the performance could easily qualify as a miss, but he'll get a pass because it's his first outing and he didn't have his best defense behind him.

KOA Stream

Rush Limbaugh interruptions? I guess it's even spring training for the KOA engineers as they work out the kinks on their spring streams. But not a bad broadcast overall, and we're certainly thankful for the extra baseball games playing in our ears as long we don't have to hear Limbaugh's hideous voice again.

Matt Belisle

Belisle appeared for one inning and allowed a hit and a walk. The very definition of getting his work in.

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

The Paulsen home run gave the Rockies a 6-5 victory and made a winner out of reliever Josh Sullivan, who pitched a scoreless top of the ninth.

What's next

The Rockies make the short trip to Mesa to take on the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. The game will again be available on via the Cubs radio broadcast on WGN. First pitch around 1:05 MT.