Raffy's Notebook: Rosario and Escalona Learning; Cuddyer Appreciates Atmosphere

ed. We've been remiss in explaining these articles; Usually when we write Rockpiles and such, we're going off of notes columns and other articles written by local and national media. Rafael Rojas Cremonesi has been in Arizona at Spring Training the past week, credentialed and collecting his own notes, quotes, and anything else he can find of interest specifically to pass along to our readership here at Purple Row. That is to say, this has been exclusive PR content, something pretty new to our site. It's a pretty neat luxury for us, and we'll see how well we can carry them on during the regular season. - AMart

ROSARIO GOES ALONG WITH THE RIDE

Wilin Rosario had a breakthrough season with Aguilas Cibaeñas at the Dominican League: he jacked seven homers and drove in 36 runs. He was definitely one of the rising stars at the Caribbean last winter.

Now he's back in the United States, getting ready for an upcoming season in which he's one of the young catchers being nurtured by the Rockies, alongside Jordan Pacheco. In the meantime, he's taking everything he can learn from Ramon Hernandez, the Venezuela-born veteran who's serving as mentor and bridge between generations.

"Ramon knows his stuff, that's for sure," Rosario said. "That guy knows his baseball, he knows more than a whole encyclopedia. I'm being like a sponge, trying to absorb all the knowledge I can from him. I' so glad he wants to pass it on to you".

"So far, I know I'm learning and working in order to gain experience and a more permanent spot. But it's just like what happened in the Dominican: you do your work and then the rest is up to God."

ESCALONA IN THE SPOTLIGHT

The most sought-after player at Rockies camp Thursday wasn't any of the usual suspects. It was young pitcher Edgmer Escalona, who was traded... in the Venezuelan League. After being with Leones del Caracas several seasons he was traded to Tiburones de La Guaira, the team from his home state of Vargas.

"My mother screamed at the news," said a visibly happy Escalona. "She's been a big Tiburones fan for as long as I can remember, she can now root for me without any hesitations".

But as anyone who follows the Winter Leagues will tell you, it's all up to how many innings he throws and the instructions his organization in the US gives to him.

"So far, I've been working as a reliever, throwing an inning at a time. I do hope I can have a great season with the Rockies. As of now, all I've done is keep on pitching, there aren't specific indications of any plans for me for the upcoming season. I will keep on doing my job and keep on listening to Raffy Betancourt. He's the best guide there is," Escalona said, while the Rockies closer opened his eyes in amazement.

CUDDYER AT EASE WITH ROX PHILOSOPHY

Outfielder Michael Cuddyer is one of the new faces the Rockies feature in 2012. He's been enjoying his experience so far, playing alongside up-and-coming stars such as Carlos González and feeling satisfied with the way the Rockies conduct themselves on and off the field.

"This is a great organization to be in," said Cuddyer. "I like the way guys hold each other accountable, it's just like it was when I was in Minnesota: a great atmosphere and people who love to play and like doing things the right way".

Sharing the outfield with Gonzalez has been a nice experience for Cuddyer. "He's one of the best there is. I was only able to see him from afar, looking at his plays on TV and now I'm able to be next to him and it's amazing".

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