Colorado Rockies spring notebook: Trevor Story on Ian Desmond’s leadership, Bud Black on Jordan Sheffield, Ben Bowden

On Tuesday morning, Colorado Rockies shortstop and manager Bud Black spoke with the media, including Rox Pile, and here are some of the highlights from the conversations.

Trevor Story spoke early this morning (7:15 AM M.T.) and he spoke with the media for nearly half an hour but one of the highlights was when he was asked about Ian Desmond.

Desmond announced that he was opting out of the 2021 season “for now” on Sunday when he posted it on Instagram. Story said that Desmond told his teammates before posting it so it did not come as a shock to them but Story believes that, whether or not he returns, he will still have a big influence on the 2021 Rockies and on him, personally.

“I plan on talking to him a lot this spring because you know he’s been a mentor of mine, since he’s been here, and he’s helped me so much [in becoming] a leader,” said Story. “He has those leadership aspects that he’s attained over his career and he has built up a special brand and like that. So, I love talking to him all the time and he has [been] a big part of my development. So it’s, it’s not like, you know, he’s just going to disappear. He’s certainly still a part of our team. And, you know, maybe maybe not so on the field right now but behind the scenes, that’s for sure.”

Story later cited Desmond’s “similar kind of trajectories” in their careers in being a shortstop (Desmond was a shortstop for part of seven seasons with the Washington Nationals) as well as him being “relatable” and “readily available” to be “open and honest about the way he felt and maybe some of the mistakes that he made or some of the things he did right.”

Bud Black revealed some of his thoughts about the Rockies bullpen on Tuesday

Bud Black spoke later in the morning and one of the highlights was him discussing the Rockies Rule V pick, Jordan Sheffield, and the rest of his bullpen.

Black said that he has seen Sheffield pitch three times since starting spring training, including facing live hitters on Monday in a 30-pitch batting practice session. He faced a few batters including Sam Hilliard, Josh Fuentes, and Colton Welker.

“I like the arm,” said Black. “It’s a live arm. You can tell there’s some fastball velocity [there] with some life to it. He’s got a hard slider, hard breaking pitch, sort of a hard slurvish break and he’s got a feel for a changeup. I think that with Jordan, there’s no doubt it’s major league quality stuff across the board: velocity, secondary (pitches), the armwork is nice, the delivery looks good. But, again, his bugaboo in the minor leagues has been the walk.”

Black said that they “need to dig a little deeper with Jordan” on why the walk rate is so high but he said that “everything lines up, stuff-wise and I think the mentality and aptitude to be a force in the big leagues.” Black also said that he, assuming he makes the team, would primarily be used in the middle innings of the game, but it would depend on the availability of each reliever.

For Bowden, Black said that he has had two side sessions and he will pitch batting practice today. After being “banged up a little bit with a couple of nagging injuries that have kept him from really developing at the minor league level,” according to Black, he “looks fine.”

If he were to make the Rockies MLB team, he could be the Rockies only left-hander in the bullpen as he and Philip Diehl look to be the only guys that are lefties that have a shot at making the bullpen.