The Rockies did play on Sunday, but only a few innings of a split squad game against the Mariners that was ultimately rained out. Still, we acknowledge DJ LeMahieu for making an excellent defensive play, and point out that Tyler Chatwood had a bit of a tough start. He’s still using his fastball too much, which is not a good sign for someone we hope will eventually slot into the rotation. Moving on, today the Rockies beat the Angels in another walk-off, making for yet another exciting ending.
Dexter Fowler managed a hit and only struck out once. Considering his performance so far this spring, this is an achievement worth noting.
Esmil Rogers had something of a redemptive outing today, pitching a perfect 6th inning with two strikeouts. Does he belong in the bullpen long term? Maybe. One inning at a time, he can contribute. It’s just a matter of whether he can put together enough of those kinds of innings to make himself valuable to the team.
Wil Nieves continued to make a case for himself, going 2-for-2. One of his hits was a double, and he scored the winning run. He doesn’t have the buzz that Wilin Rosario does, but he’s taking some solid at-bats and shown real prowess behind the plate. He’s a perennial minor leaguer so it’s hard to say whether he has a future with the big league club, but his spring resume this year is impressive.
Andrew Brown was given just one plate appearance, and he used it to hit his second home run in as many games. The ball is really popping off his bat right now. This doesn’t mean much for him at the moment, but it’s never a bad thing.
And let’s not forget the walk-off hero, Chris Nelson. He only had one hit in the game, but he used it wisely, hitting a single to right that score Nieves with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. Those kinds of clutch performances are always worth recognizing.
Marco Scutaro is still having a very tough time producing anything of value. He had another 0-for-3 day at the plate. This is frustrating considering he was acquired to be the everyday second baseman, and there is no tryout for him here. We need more from him in the 2-hole. Let’s all hope that Scutaro is simply working out his spring kinks and will be good to go, more or less, once the season starts.
Michael Cuddyer went 0-for-3 as well, but he left 4 men on base, which is highly disappointing from a middle of the order hitter. Cuddyer has been hit-or-miss so far this spring, with perhaps a bit more miss than I’d like to see. I think he has the goods, but he needs to find a way to deliver a little more consistently.
After being pretty much untouchable up to this point, Juan Nicasio was touched up for 3 runs in 5 innings today. He was bound to have a rough outing at some point, and the good news is that he only walked 1 and he struck out 4. Those three runs will really the result of one bad pitch to Howard Kendrick. After that, he put two runners on and got out of the inning without anymore trouble. His stuff is still filthy, and he’s still ready for the starting rotation the first week of the season. Let’s not read too much into this one. It was the Angels, after all, and Nicasio had to face Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter, and Albert Pujols, among others. Under the circumstances, it was not as bad as it could have been.
Tomorrow the Rockies face the Padres in a night game.