Despite a rocky start for De La Rosa, there was some good news in today's loss, in the form of solid performances from Gonzalez and Chacin.
As a fan, spring training games can be difficult to assess. These games, especially early on, are tools to gauge the starting points of players after the off-season. They allow the staff to take a look at off-season acquisitions, get a glimpse of the rising talent in the organization, and to assess players coming off of injuries. As fans, with no visual access to the game, we don't get to see that. All we have is a number -Rockies 2, Cubs 4- that is absolutely meaningless. This game was significant because it featured two pitchers on the mound today that the Rockies will need to have playing consistently and injury-free during the season.
Chacin, despite a toe injury, delivered an encouraging performance, and was able to focus on locating his pitches and pitching efficiently:
"I was trying to keep my ball down," Chacin said. "Trying to locate my fastballs. That's pretty much what I was trying to do. I threw like three breaking balls. I was trying to throw my [sinker] and my fastball down, in and out. I was just trying to make them swing the bats. They did, because they saw I was throwing pitches close to the zone."
This game marked the return of Jorge De La Rosa to the mound. After a rocky recovery from Tommy John surgery, it was great to see him back on the mound, though he was wild and ineffective, giving up two runs, including a home run to Cubs' Third Baseman Christian Villanueva and was credited with the loss. The poor performance can be attributed for nerves and rusty mechanics.
"With Jorge, like Juan the other day, they've been out a while. They are still getting their rhythm down," Weiss said "It's early in spring. I give them the benefit of the doubt."
In other words, don't panic, yet. De La Rosa's reflection highlighted similar issues:
"My mechanics aren't there yet," De La Rosa said. "I think I'm up and out a little bit. I have to work on that."
"I was a little anxious. I need to be able to control that."
Carlos Gonzalez has impressed the Rockies' new manager. I, for one, am excited to see what our Rockies will bring to the Venezuelan team during the WBC this year, and more importantly, am looking forward to another solid offensive performance for Gonzalez this season.