Posted on: February 16, 2012 3:47 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Want a feel-good story? How about Juan Nicasio?
The Rockies' right-hander suffered a broken neck last August when he was hit by an Ian Desmond liner. Not only is Nicasio in camp with the Rockies, he's in line for a spot in the team's rotation.
"I am one of those people that didn't think we would be talking about him on Feb. 16 on how he has a very, very good chance to be a member of our rotation. But that's where we are at," Rockies manager Jim Tracy told Troy Renck of the Denver Post. "He's coming into camp with the mindset that he's making the team."
Tracy said Nicasio will have no limitations this spring and will even participate in the team's "ragball drills" where pitchers are graded on their ability to field comebackers.
As a rookie in 2012, Nicasio was 4-4 with a 4.14 ERA in 13 starts, dominating at Coors Field where he was 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA in seven starts (and 0-3 with a 7.04 ERA in six starts away from Coors).
The Rockies are set at the top of their rotation with Jeremy Guthrie and Jhoulys Chacin, but after that, the final three rotation spots are up for grabs. As Matt Snyder pointed out last week, there's plenty of candidates, with few answers. Among those gunning for a spot in the rotation in addition to Nicasio are Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, Guillermo Moscoso, Tyler Chatwood, Josh Outman and Jamie Moyer.
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Posted on: December 4, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: December 4, 2011 7:25 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
Building a team in Colorado has been a bit of a conundrum throughout the Rockies' brief history -- the offensive numbers will come in the elevation, while pitchers have to be homegrown because free agent pitchers aren't exactly lining up to play in the high altitude.
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Seth Smith, RF
3. Troy Tulowitzki, SS
4. Matt Holliday, LF
5. Todd Helton, 1B
6. Juan Uribe, 3B
7. Chris Iannetta, C
8. Clint Barmes, 2B
1. Ubaldo Jimenez
2. Jhoulys Chacin
3. Jake Westbrook
4. Aaron Cook
5. Jeff Francis
Closer - Franklin Morales
Set up - Luis Ayala, Jamey Wright, Pedro Strop, Edgmer Escalona, Rex Brothers, Matt Reynolds
Long - Juan Nicasio
Notable Bench Players
Wilin Rosario and Josh Bard give this team a good stable of catchers, while Everth Cabrera, Chone Figgins, Ian Stewart, Juan Pierre and Ryan Spilborghs give the team some veratile players in the field, with Brad Hawpe perhaps the best bat off the bench.
The lineup's going to score some runs, that's for sure. Especially in Colorado, having a 3-4 of Tulowitzki and Holliday is going to be impressive. Of course, there's not Carlos Gonzalez, so it's pretty much even compared to the regular team. The team is strong up the middle defensively, which it will need...
The pitching staff is similar to what we saw in real life in 2011, with Chacin leading the way and Jimenez struggling before being traded. Westbrook helps, but you have to remember he wasn't even on the Cardinals' playoff roster for the first two rounds and pitched two innings in the World Series. The bullpen is deep, but not overpowering.
Comparison to real 2011
The wheels fell off the Rockies in 2011, with the team going a disappointing 73-89. The offense on this team is similar, while the pitching (especially the bullpen) is not as good -- that formula adds up to another losing season and probably a 90-loss season.
Next: Arizona Diamondbacks
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Tags: Aaron Cook, C. Trent Rosecrans, Carlos Gonzalez, Chone Figgins, Chris Iannetta, Clint Barmes, Dexter Fowler, Edgmer Escalona, Everth Cabrera, Franklin Morales, Homegrown, Ian Stewart, Jake Westbrook, Jamey Wright, Jeff Francis, Jhoulys Chacin, Josh Bard, Juan Nicasio, Juan Pierre, Juan Uribe, Luis Ayala, Matt Holliday, Matt Reynolds, NL West, Pedro Strop, Rex Brothers, Rockies, Ryan Spilborghs, Seth Smith, Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki, Ubaldo Jimenez, Wilin Rosario
Posted on: October 3, 2011 3:16 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2011 1:19 pm
By Evan Brunell
Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...
Team name: Colorado Rockies
Record: 73-89, 4th place, 21 games back
Manager: Jim Tracy
Best hitter: Troy Tulowitzki -- .302/.372/.544 with 30 HR, 105 RBI
Best pitcher: Jhoulys Chacin -- 11-14, 31 GS, 194 IP, 3.62 ERA, 150 K, 87 BB
The Rockies season didn't go as intended. Instead of competing for the division title, the club barely avoided the cellar and saw their rotation ripped up. Jorge De La Rosa dealt the big blow, suffering an injury that required Tommy John surgery while Ubaldo Jimenez found himself packed off to Cleveland. With a disappointing season in the books, Colorado is ready to plunge ahead and change their fortunes next season.
2011 SEASON RECAP
The Rockies got the season off to a nice start, finishing April with a 17-8 record, enough to pace the division by four games. The wheels fell off in May, though, with two separate four-game losing streaks in the month. There were also two separate instances of a three-game losing streak, including one to end the month at 8-21, slipping out to 4 1/2 back. The first game of a double-header on May 24 was an especially big blow, with De La Rosa exiting the game after 2 1/3 innings and later undergoing Tommy John surgery. The left-hander had signed a two-year, $21.25 million deal in the offseason.
The rest of the season basically played out the string, as the team hovered around .500 the next three months, dealing Ubaldo Jimenez at the trade deadline. September saw a collapse, suffering a nine-game losing streak that perfectly capped the year for Colorado. The silver lining is that the team will get a high draft pick in next year's draft and restocked its pitching depth, but the year was still a big letdown.
Despite nearly finishing in the cellar, the Rockies are poised to contend. The offense isn't an issue, anchored by Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Even the pitching figures to rebound now that the club will get a full year of Chacin and a projected second-half return of De La Rosa. The rest of the rotation is a question mark, although the club will look for Alex White and Drew Pomeranz, part of the return in the Jimenez trade, to fill out the rotation. If Juan Nicasio can return from breaking his neck to round out a solid front five, the bullpen will be able to end games.
Aaron Cook, SP (mutual option that will be declined by the team)
Jason Giambi, 1B (mutual option)
Mark Ellis, 2B
Kevin Millwood, SP
J.C. Romero, RP
Posted on: September 15, 2011 11:14 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Call it a Kung Fu Cycle -- Pablo Sandoval became the first Giant to hit for the cycle since Fred Lewis did it in 2007.
Sandoval hit a two-run homer in the first inning off of Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin before singling in the second. He doubled in the fifth and then completed the cycle with a triple in the sixth inning.
Sandoval did have a little help for the triple, as his fly to right was just beyond the outstretched Carlos Gonzalez, who then ran into the wall. Sandoval was rounding first when the ball bounced away from Gonzalez and Sandoval motored into third and then had a head-first slide into third.
Sandoval now has 20 home runs, 25 doubles and two triples on the season, despite missing 40 games with a broken hamate bone in his hand.
Sandoval is the 26th Giants and 10th San Francisco Giant to hit for the cycle.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 11, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 2:56 pm
By Evan Brunell
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VERLANDER TIME: The Indians have taken the first two games of the three-game set between AL Central rivals, leaving Cleveland just two games behind the Tigers for the lead. Unfortunately, Cleveland only has one Ubaldo Jimenez, and he pitched on Wednesday. That leaves Fausto Carmona, he of a 5.9 ERA, to do battle against Justin Verlander. That's a tall task, what with Verlander's amazing season leaving him in contention for the AL Cy Young Award. Verlander can accomplish two things on Thursday: first, the righty can snap Cleveland's 13-game winning streak against Detroit in Progressive FIeld, and he can also become the majors' first 17-game winner. Tigers vs. Indians, 7:05 p.m. ET
GONE STREAKING: Another pivotal Central series comes to an end Thursday as well, except this one is over in the NL. The streaking Brewers are attempting to rip off a 6-0 road streak, their seventh straight win, push their MLB-best home record to 42-15 and extend their division lead to six games. Boy, that's a lot of accomplishments to reach in one game. The pitching matchup is pretty even, at least if you consider only ERA. Milwaukee has Yovani Gallardo with a 3.56 ERA toeing the mound, while St. Louis counters with a 3.75 figure. Brewers vs. Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET
PITCHING DUEL: A pretty solid pitching matchup highlights this game, with Johnny Cueto taking the mound for the Reds and jockeying for the best ERA in in the game. Cueto's already qualified previously for the best ERA, but he fell out of consideration because he's right on the bubble to qualify for the lead. He's missed so much time, that even waiting five days for his next start can drop him out. All he needs is 4 2/3 innings and he reclaims his spot atop the ERA leaderboard. He won't have an easy time of it, as the Rockies will throw out Jhoulys Chacin, who has had a fine year in his first full season. He stumbled in July with a 4.97 ERA but has turned in two straight strong starts Rockies vs. Reds, 12:35 p.m. ET
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Posted on: July 22, 2011 12:19 am
By Evan Brunell
C.J. Wilson, Rangers: Wilson made history on Thursday, and not the good kind. He's in 3 Up because of the excellent performance he put forth: Wilson pitched an eight-inning complete game but lost due to an unearned run scoring thanks to an error. He limited the Angels to just two hits, one walk and eight strikeouts. Normally, that's enough to pull out a win with ease. But Wilson was going up against Jered Weaver, who blanked the Rangers through seven to drop his ERA to 1.81. Wilson is the first pitcher to lose a two-hit complete game with no earned runs since the Yankees' Kenny Rogers on May 28, 1996, as ESPN Stats and Info tweets. That's not all. On the MLB Network scrolling newsbar, it was noted that the last time Texas lost while limiting the opposition to two hits or fewer was August 15, 1989. So yeah, he made some bad history, but twirled quite a game.
Jordan Walden, Angels: Walden lands here not just because of what he did Thursday, but what he also did on Wednesday. The Angels dropped the first game of the series to Texas, running the Rangers' winning streak to 12. But Los Angeles eked out one-run wins each of the next two nights, and it was Walden who closed out both games with 100-mph heat. That's some sizzle coming from the rookie, who now has 23 saves on the season, striking out 43 in 41 innings. Other players (such as Jeremy Hellickson) will get more attention in Rookie of the Year voting, but don't forget about Walden.
Jhonny Peralta, Tigers: Peralta went boom in a very big way, launching a home run into the second deck of left field in the 8th inning to emphatically defeat the Twins 6-2 -- but not before Detroit's new third baseman in Wilson Betemit made a comical throw in the ninth that allowed a run to come in. Peralta had three hits and three RBI and is up to .317/.364/.533, numbers he hasn't seen since 2005, his first full season in the bigs.
Logan Morrison, Marlins: LoMo is struggling lately, with his latest 0-for-4 dropping his batting average to .147 since the All-Star break. But that's symptomatic of a larger trend, as Morrison is slashing .212/.274/.394 since the beginning of June, which does not include his Thursday ofer. Somehow, he's collected 30 RBI so is still doing OK in that department, but the power hitter is really struggling right now. He saw a potential two-run home run stolen away by Cameron Maybin in the first inning. Morrison later wrote something on a baseball and tossed it to Maybin, tweeting after that he had written "'U can take my HR but u cannot take my freedom' #Braveheart." It's nice to see Morrison still has his humor.
Jhoulys Chacin, Rockies: Chacin walked a career high seven batters in this outing and it's the third time he's walked at least six in the last six outings. That does sound pretty bad, but in his defense, had issued just one free pass in each of his two most recent outings before this stinker against the Braves in which he gave up five runs in 4 2/3 innings. Chacin is on pace to throw 208 2/3 innings on the year. This from a 23-year-old topped out at 137 1/3 innings last season in his first full year of the majors. Colorado may want to scale back.
Brandon Allen, Diamondbacks: Allen has a chance here to grab onto the starting job at first base and not let go. Arizona cleared the team of Russell Branyan quite some time ago and now has optioned Juan Miranda to Triple-A. Allen was given the call over Paul Goldschmidt, so he has some competition in the minors waiting for him. He got off to a good start yesterday by slugging a home run but today contributed an all too common 0-for-3 night with two strikeouts. Allen's power is awesome, but his issue in past big-league stints has been his strikeouts dragging him down. The D-Backs, after losing shortstop Stephen Drew for the season, may not have a ton of patience, as they need to keep contending.
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Posted on: May 9, 2011 7:09 pm
By Evan Brunell
BEST MATCHUP: This is a nice meeting of pitchers who have been on fire all season. Trevor Cahill is seeking his sixth win and has yet to register a loss. The A's righty was in the Cy Young mix last year and is clearly inserting himself in the discussion this year. The 23-year-old pitched a bit over his head last year and while he is obviously doing so this season with a 1.79 ERA, he's taken another leap forward this season by upping his strikeout percentage. He'll be opposed by Rangers ace C.J. Wilson who continues to find the starting rotation to his liking. Now in his second season starting after being converted from relief, Wilson is 4-1 with a 2.92 ERA and is gearing up for a massive payday as a free agent. Both teams are scrapping to stay close to the first-place Angels. With identical 19-18 records, the loser will drop to .500 while the victor will hope for an Angels loss later that night to the White Sox to pull to within one game of the division lead. Athletics at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. ET
LOSING STREAK: The Rockies are losers of four straight and as Ian Stewart can tell you, manager Jim Tracy is getting irritable. Colorado is still in first, but its margin of error is down to one game. Fortunately, arguably the team's best pitcher in sophomore Jhoulys Chacin will toe the mound with a 2.83 ERA and has clearly proven his ability to handle Coors Field. The game is in the Rox's favor, as the Mets will counter with lefty Chris Capuano and his 5.40 ERA. Colorado swept the Mets in four games to begin the season, so the beginning of the series could be a welcome breath of air for the 18-14 squad. Rockies at Mets, 8:40 p.m. ET
FIRST PLACE BATTLES: Just like the Rangers, A's and Rockies, the Phillies and Marlins tonight will pit two teams at the top of the standings with a chance to take a step forward. The Phillies are clinging to first place despite an offense that hasn't delivered on its promise while the scorching Marlins are only two back. Unfortunately for Florida, the Phillies will have a shot to feast on Javier Vazquez who has done nothing to reverse his slide into mediocrity that began last season with the Yankees. The righty will look to drive his ERA below 6.00 while Philly counters with its own struggling Joe Blanton fresh off the disabled list. Blanton's 5.92 ERA isn't pretty, but allowed just four runs over his past 14 innings before hitting the shelf. Phillies at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET
Posted on: April 5, 2011 11:24 pm
By Matt Snyder
One of my favorite things early in the season is when we get to the fourth and fifth games for each team -- because it's often the first look we get in the new campaign at a bevy of young starting pitchers. Whether the pitcher is making his debut, his first major-league start, or entering a season where he's expected to take a big step forward, it's always interesting to see how he fares. There were many on impressive display Tuesday. Let's take a look, remembering this snapshot excludes already-established stars like Clayton Kershaw and Yovani Gallardo (and obviously excludes stink-bomb outings like we saw from Madison Bumgarner and Luke Hochevar).
Andrew Cashner, Cubs. He'd never made a major-league start until Tuesday and I still noticed scouting types on Twitter saying he's still best suited as a reliever, but Cashner looked pretty solid before his injury . A bullpen meltdown prevented him from getting the victory, but only three baserunners and one run were given up through 5 1/3 innings. Perhaps most impressive was his efficiency, as he only threw 72 pitches.
Josh Tomlin, Indians. The 26-year-old is still a rookie despite making 12 starts last season and he handcuffed the Red Sox's vaunted offense. He worked seven innings, only giving up three hits and one run.
Mike Leake, Reds. After a huge start -- one where he completely bypassed the minor leagues -- Leake finished 2010 by going 3-4 with a 6.47 ERA after the first week of June. He would have began this season in the minors had it not been for injuries to Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey, in all likelihood. Tuesday, Leake came out and threw six innings, only letting the Astros collect three hits, two walks and two earned runs. He got the "W" as the Reds moved to 4-0.
Michael Pineda, Mariners. Much discussion centered on if the Mariners should have let this prospect start the season in the majors, due to service time concerns. In terms of what he can do on the hill, there was no question he belonged. He showed it against a very potent Texas offense Tuesday. He took the loss, but threw six innings and held the Rangers to three earned runs. He struck out four, only walked one and showed his power pitching skills on several occasions. Keep an eye on this one.
Alexi Ogando, Rangers. With much of the attention on his counterpart, Ogando went out and gave the Rangers six shutout innings. The 27-year-old had 44 outings last season, but this marked his first career start in the bigs. He's ticketed back to the bullpen when Tommy Hunter returns from injury, but string a few more of these together and it's a really problem in Texas.
Jhoulys Chacin, Rockies. The 23-year-old has shown brief flashes of brilliance in his early career, but hasn't had the chance to turn national heads yet. Tuesday against the Dodgers -- a team which just took three of four from the defending champs -- Chacin tossed seven shutout innings. He struck out four and outdueled Clayton Kershaw.
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