As everyone knows it is the beginning of the third week for Colorado Rockies Spring Training. I am happy to say that I have been watching with enthusiasm and a critical eye for the last two days.
Yesterday was pretty simple. The major league club did not come out to the backfields because they had a game. Instead it was the second day for full workouts for the minor league pitchers and catchers. The pitchers completed drills involving pickoffs and bunting. The coaches were trying to get the players to control their pickoffs and stay balanced in the process. Trinidad Hubbard, was in charge of the bunting drills. Some of the pitchers could not bunt very well at all.
The game was well documented. Helton hit a homerun and Reynolds pitched really well. Morillo gave up a run in his one inning but it was earned by the Padres. Two singles on good pitches down in the zone, the second moving the runner on first to third. The double was on a mistake pitch but the ball still just squeaked between the outfielders. Overall the game was a lot of fun.
Today there was an intrasquad game but it was closed to the public. Instead I stayed on the back fields and watched the practices. Many of the regulars came out for batting practice and situational drills. The drills were: sacrifice bunting and slug bunting, hit and run, hitting with the infield in, and groundballs to the right side.
Participating in the drills were: Sal Fasano, Garrett Atkins, Clint Barmes, Troy Tulowitzki, Scott Podsednik, Wilin Rosario, Seth Smith, Matt Murton, Ryan Spillborghs and Yorvit Torrealba.
Everyone had trouble bunting the ball to third, and they frequently bunted them foul. The purpose of simulating the infield in was to get the players to hit the ball over the infield deep to the outfield or on a line. The players did fairly well with this but at least four of them had weak ground balls to third base. During the ground balls to second drill a lot of balls were lifted in the air for fly outs to the right fielder. Sal Fasano would do the best at moving the runner to third from what I saw. The slug bunts were funny to watch, especially since I hope none of the players ever use it in a game.
These drills were being judged by Rich Dauer on a point scale, if the player received a specified amount of points he could leave. If the player did not get the points he had to stay and run sprints with the rest of the team. Those that had to run were, Barmes, Tulo, Rosario, Smith, Murton, Spilly, Torrealba. Hawpe also showed up at the end to run with everyone while they gave Garrett a hard time for not wanting to stay and run.
Batting practice took place before the drills and you can add Todd Helton to the above named players for those who took batting practice. He did not work on the drills, I assume, because he played in the intrasquad game. Each of the players had simple strokes to the ball and were spraying line drives all across the field. Helton, along with the others, started simple and then turned up the pace by launching balls over the 25 foot high fence in the outfield. This was a lot of fun to watch because they were the big boppers and line drives are always promising, even if it is batting practice.
Thanks for reading this and I hope it has been somewhat informative as to the happenings in Spring Training from a Rowbot point of view.