At this point it looks like the Rockies have no intention of putting together a winning Cactus League campaign. As we well know, though, these games don’t count for anything, and in the end what matters is the performances of individuals trying to make the opening day roster. So, as usual, we skip ahead to that.
Jhoulys Chacin took the loss today, but I’m much more encouraged by this outing than his last one. He went 3 innings and allowed 1 run on 3 hits. He also didn’t walk anyone, and he recorded 3 strikeouts. That’s the Chacin we know and love. Initially, he stuck to his fastball, but as he went along he started mixing in his offspeed pitches, mostly with success. The thing I mostly watch for with Chacin is that he doesn’t lose his composure when he allows runners. That was his Achilles heel last season, and it was a consequence of his youth more than anything. But as he is older this season than last, I would hope to see some improvement there, and today I did. Here’s hoping it carries over into the regular season and continues to get better.
Matt Belisle: one inning, three outs, no runners. What we’ve come to expect, in other words.
Brandon Wood was the only guy in the lineup who did much of anything offensively. He’s done quite well for himself so far this spring, raising questions about whether he will make a play for a spot at third base. He’s certainly put on a better show than Casey Blake, who was signed to hold Nolan Arenado‘s place at the hot corner. Arenado is playing so well, I’d almost rather give both him and Wood a shot and DFA Blake. Nothing personal. Back to Wood, though. He went 3-for-3 today with 2 extra-base hits and an RBI. I think I’d like to see more of this guy.
Dexter Fowler went 0-for-3 today with a pair of strikeouts. He had too many games like that in the first half last year. I’m not worried yet, because I think he really did make some necessary changes before the second half, and there’s no reason not to believe he’s still doing those things. But I would prefer we keep games like this one to the absolute minimum.
Also with 2 K’s today? Chad Tracy. And both times he did it with a man on base. I hate to blame dad Jim for Chad’s faults, but could this inability to focus on fundamentals run in the family?
Christian Friedrich followed up a great outing earlier this week with an exceptionally rough one today. He gave up 5 runs, 4 earned, in his three innings, and he really struggled to get ahead in the count. This is disheartening for a pitcher who recently expressed the importance of working quickly and getting hitters out on as few pitches as possible. Chalk it up to Friedrich still being young and inexperienced, but I’d like to see him string together a handful of very good starts rather than alternating like this.
Team: 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Same old story … etc. etc.