It doesn't take an expert scout to see why Jorge de la Rosa struggled in his Major League career. At the first sign of adversity, his mental breakdowns on the mound would sap him of any potential to pitch effectively. That is partly why I pegged him as a "disappointment candidate" at this time last year. But with the help of Bob Apodaca and his sports psychologist, he has figured it out. According to , Jorge already *looks* like a completely different pitcher this spring:
"I don't get all mad and start throwing balls and stuff. (Apodaca) has helped a lot because he always believed in me....Before, I would jump in my delivery. I did that today, but I could feel it and fix it. It's different. I have a lot more confidence," JDLR, via Troy Renck
Another intriguing point - like Aaron Cook, de la Rosa has lost twenty pounds this offseason, saying it has given his arm more "whip."
Jim Armstrong has caught on to something we all noticed early on this offseason: the Rockies have a damn good bench. Seriously, the 2010 versions of Melvin Mora, Seth Smith, Miguel Olivo and Ryan Spilborghs would have started for at least half of the Rockies teams in the past decade.
With the limited roster questions this Spring, there's little to pay attention to on the 25-man roster - except injuries. Luckily, Troy Renck brought us good news on the injury front:
- Rafael Betancourt's should "feels better." Not exactly a huge win, but it's also the first time we've heard any sort of progress.
- Huston Street continues to improve and will pitch in a bullpen session today. Cross your fingers.
- Brad Hawpe ran on a treadmill yesterday and should get into a game tomorrow.
Rox have plenty of unfinished business | ColoradoRockies.com: News
It was painful for me to go back and relive the NLDS. But if you're masochistic, Thomas Harding dutifully chronicles each of the Rockies' individual struggles against the Phillies.
Inside the Colorado Rockies | Major League Baseball in Denver " Rockies post travel squad for Tuesday
Most teams keep their best players at home for the Tucson/Phoenix area commute, instead sending a roster full of Jonathan Herreras and Mike Paulks for opposing teams to play. While both Herrera and Paulk are indeed traveling, so are 7 of the projected 13 Opening Day hitters, as well as Opening Day starter Ubaldo Jimenez.
If you're looking to get a leg up on competition for your upcoming fantasy draft, here's a couple recommendations:
The PDF version of the 582 page manual is available for $7.95. There are full-page profiles on over 400 players, such as the teaser found to the right. There are team previews, accompanying access to any ESPN Insider articles writer by the Fangraphs staff, and more articles you're used to seeing on the Fangraphs blog.
As per usual, they question Seth Smith's relegation on the bench, opine for a Brad Hawpe trade, and laud Chris Iannetta's skills. Additionally, I found this little nugget.
The Hardball Times' subscription is roughly twice that of the Fangraphs' Second Opinion, although it does include input from Rox Girl. Also, you will gain access to content that is updated weekly, rather than sticking with one document before the season. Other than that, I have not gotten a copy of this yet (I'm undecided if I will) so I can't offer much on the content. Feel free to chime in if you have ponied up the dough.
Colorado Rockies: Top 10 Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball
Lastly, Marc Hulet ranks the Rockies' top ten prospects, not including 2009 draft picks. There's not a whole lot new to see here, as the six non-2009-draftees in Tracy RIngolsby's list for BA go almost in identical order for Hulet, and player descriptions are predominantly statistical regurgitation. But if you're unfamiliar with some of the names you've seen in Spring Training, like Deduno and Nicasio, take a look.
If you're waiting with bated breath for the NL West Report, I'll post it tomorrow sometime.