In what is usually the first sign that spring is on its way (for me, anyway), Colorado's pitchers and catchers are reporting to Spring Training in Tucson, AZ today. It isn't looking much like spring where I'm at, though, so I envy the guys. As always, Purple Row will be your one-stop place for all things Rockies during ST.
Taking a page from ESPN's book, the Rocky Mountain News has come up with a poll to decide who would appear the Rockies' version of Mount Rushmore. If you haven't already, you should go vote on who you think are the 4 greatest players to ever wear purple and silver. Personally, I think 3 of the 4 (Helton, Walker, Castilla) are a relatively easy choice, based on performance and longevity with the club. However, the fourth could spark some debate. Here are the rest of the RMN's choices:
Dante Bichette: Outfielder, 7 seasons with the Rockies
Ellis Burks: Outfielder, 5 seasons with the Rockies
Vinny Castilla: Third baseman, 9 seasons with the Rockies
Aaron Cook: Starting pitcher, 7 seasons with the Rockies
Jeff Francis: Starting pitcher, 5 seasons with the Rockies
Brian Fuentes: Relief pitcher, 7 seasons with the Rockies
Andres Galarraga: First baseman, 5 seasons with the Rockies
Todd Helton: First baseman, 12 seasons with the Rockies
Jason Jennings: Starting pitcher, 6 seasons with the Rockies
Matt Holliday: Outfielder, 5 seasons with the Rockies
Larry Walker: Outfielder, 10 seasons with the Rockies
Eric Young: Second baseman, 5 seasons with the Rockies
Who do you think the fourth should be? Seems like kind of a tough decision for me. I'm leaning toward Holliday, but obviously good cases can be made for guys like Bichette, Galarraga, and even Brian Fuentes.
HURDLE NOT CONCERNED ABOUT CONTRACT SITUATION
The Cowboy checks in with an article about Clint Hurdle being in the final year of his contract. A lot of it is the same drivel that we've heard from Clint countless times before, but one part of the story intrigued me:
What Hurdle feels he can control is keeping himself focused on what it takes for the Rockies to erase the memories of the disappointment of 2008 and rekindle the 2007 excitement created by the organization's first World Series appearance. He said the emphasis will be on fundamentals, such as advancing runners and hitting cutoff men. He will work to get the projected regulars more spring at-bats so they will be tuned up for the start of the season, and he will give the pitchers more work, including an extra start for each member of the rotation and more back- to-back appearances for relievers.
I like the idea of Hurdle letting the starters (both pitching and position players) get more reps in Tucson, especially with the way this team came out of the gates the last couple of seasons. Of course, we'll all be watching closely to see if it pays off, and (knock on wood) hopefully the players are able to get the additional work in without injury.
LIVAN KEEPS LIVIN'
The New York Daily News reports that the Mets agreed to terms with ancient righty (and former Rockie, of course) Livan Hernandez on a one-year minor league deal work $1MM plus incentives. Similar to the situation with the Rockies, the Mets have a large pool of competitors for the fifth spot in their starting rotation (Hernandez along with Jon Niese, Tim Redding, and Freddy Garcia).