Saturday Rockpile: Injury updates (and fear-mongering), Hawpe changes diet, more

Stiff shoulder sidelining Betancourt - The Denver Post
Rafael Betancourt was going to get a late start at Spring Training anyway because of an illness that caused him to lose ten pounds. Now, he will be delayed even further because of shoulder stiffness. It certainly isn't time to push the panic button or anything yet, but the Rockies now have their two best relievers shelved - hopefully not for an extended period of time.

Inside the Colorado Rockies | Major League Baseball in Denver " MRI negative on Reynolds’ elbow; Street’s shoulder improves
Greg Reynolds doesn't have any structural damage in his elbow after being hit by a line drive on Monday. Also, Huston Street has been extending himself on a daily basis trying to get back into action. Yesterday, Street threw from 120 feet and tossed some pitches (though, not off a mound) for the second straight day. Finally, Juan Nicasio looks to be healed of his torn fingernail and should pitch Sunday or Monday.

Francis still feeling his way on mound - The Denver Post
Just as was reported after his very first live session of the spring, Jeff Francis continued to show poor command yesterday - this time in a game situation. He says his shoulder feels good, but he had a lot of issues on the mound against the Giants and when all was said and done, showed that he isn't quite ready to pitch at the big league level yet. Aaron Rowand of the Giants had this to say of Francis, who topped out at 86 MPH on his fastball:

"I know he used to throw 89 to 90 (mph) ... I'm sure he's trying to round back into form. He's not going to be where he wants right now. But he's the same guy I remember. He had the same action on his pitches. If he pitches like he's capable of, I am sure he will be a key guy in their rotation."

Hawpe looks to former mate Podsednik for diet tips - USATODAY.com
Brad Hawpe says that a poor diet played a large part in his second half slide last season. Apparently, Hawpe started to feel "run down" as the season went on. A phone call to former Rockie Scott Podsednik has changed all of that, as Hawpe has now been seeing the same nutritionist. Hopefully it pays dividends, but who knows if Bradley will even stick with is, as speculated in the last quote of the article (by Hawpe himself).

Cactus League: Arizona has more ballparks and teams for spring training - latimes.com
Charlie Vascellaro has a nice piece for the LA Times, discussing the recent (and future) growth of the Cactus League. The Reds and Dodgers have recently moved their ST headquarters to Arizona, and the Indians made their return recently as well. That, added to the fact that there are a bunch of new ballparks in the area (and one more coming next year, obviously) and the soon-to-be close proximity of all 15 clubs, and suddenly Arizona is becoming the top-notch Spring Training destination. Plus, you don't have to deal with the Yankees and Red Sox - always a plus.

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