So we reach the point in the Spring where decisions might start getting made on the basis of a player's most recent performance. In the case of the rotation, this means 49 year old Jamie Moyer, who did well his last time out, apparently now has the leg up on Guillermo Moscoso and Tyler Chatwood in the fifth starter battle as the latter two have faltered in their most recent outings. Honestly, as much as I have reservations with the decision due to his age and the apparent fickleness of the process, April and May might actually be the time for a Moyer type to just hold serve for the Rockies while younger pitchers like Chatwood add refinement in the minor leagues. I don't believe the difference in expected performance in any given start between the three pitchers right now is enough to worry about the decision. While Chatwood or Moscoso might improve later to the point there's a clear separation, as long as there's not, it's okay to go with the veteran.
In other news of using small sample Spring performances to measure players, Jordan Pacheco continues to groove toward a likely 25 man roster spot. Pacheco remains a tough sell for me, despite the .400 spring, but knowing the history I have when I do get excited about players, this could be a good sign for him. The Denver Post notes column also points out the alignment of the rotation this week may be somewhat meaningful, as the order would go Jeremy Guthrie, Jamie Moyer, Juan Nicasio, Jhoulys Chacin, and then Drew Pomeranz, if it remains like this through opening day. This would have Chacin in line for the home opener rather than Nicasio. Slotting Moyer second breaks up the two hard throwing RHPs with an 80 mph LHP in between. Opposing hitters' timing is going to be all sorts of messed up after that sequence.
Troy Renck has more on Nicasio and other storylines for the early Rockies season. He sees that fifth starter question and Dexter Fowler as meaningful concerns, with Nicasio and Michael Cuddyer as current positives for the team. Fowler probably should be getting as many PA's as possible over the last Cactus League games to get his swing back in check and ready for the season, starting the year with him this cold could put a big hurt on the run scoring capability of this team.
I would add third base as an obvious question early, as it's relatively important that somebody takes the position and runs with it in the next couple of months. This actually could be where a Pacheco break out could be most beneficial to the club, with Casey Blake and Chris Nelson still seeming so iffy as positive contributors.
Carlos Gonzalez meanwhile, has had a relatively quiet Spring this year after being the focus of so much attention a year ago. Renck posits that Cargo needs to be something of a team leader for the Rockies, at least needs to a bit more than he has been. I think what Renck's actually envisioning here is an inspirational role-model, icon type of leader rather than the fiery in your face type. If Tulo is the team's center of attention, its Babe Ruth, Cargo could be its Gehrig. It would be suitable for the team's pony to grow into its horse.