Nolan Arenado has been a much-discussed figure heading into each of the last two springs. Last year, Arenado was tabbed -- quite unfairly, in hindsight -- as a guy who had a great shot of breaking camp on the big league roster and locking down the job at third base.
Of course, that didn't happen, and he went on to "struggle" at Double-A Tulsa (even though, as we've discussed before, he didn't actually have all that bad of a season). Along the way, Arenado reportedly demonstrated immature behavior, as scouts observed him sulking, showing mental lapses and at times, failing to hustle.
Arenado talked about that and more with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, and his answers to the makeup questions seem to uncover a guy who may be too passionate about baseball rather than not passionate enough.
"I think sometimes I let my frustration get in the way. I showed it too much. I think that's what Dan (O'Dowd) meant. In fact, I know that's what he meant. That's something I'm working on.
"I love this game so much and I want to do so well, sometimes I let my emotions get in the way."
When talking about O'Dowd, Arenado is, of course, referencing the Rockies' general manager's infamous comments during a conference call with season ticket holders last summer, when he stated that Arenado's "maturity level still hasn't caught up with his ability level."
With any luck, the Rockies will be keeping a close eye on how Arenado responds to failure this season when he starts the season at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Note: I say that with such certainty because I REALLY hope that's what happens.
Rockies' Chacin starting vs. A's; Fowler sitting out with sore ankle
The Rockies appear to be dealing with an assortment of bumps and bruises, but Jhoulys Chacin's sore toe won't keep him from taking the mound today. Meanwhile, Dexter Fowler will continue to rest his right ankle, one that he apparently rolled three times last season according to Saunders.
Also of note: Todd Helton will finally be in action tomorrow.
SPRING TRAINING STATS UPDATE!
The Rockies are 5-2 through a week of Cactus League play behind Jordan Pacheco's six hits in 13 at-bats (good for a .462 batting average, which leads all Rockies hitters with at least 10 AB's).
Chris Volstad, Jeff Francis and Tyler Chatwood are the only Colorado pitchers with at least five innings under their belts. Francis hasn't allowed a run or a walk, while Volstad has given up one run and Chatwood has been hit for two.
In case you were wondering, Josh Willingham leads all MLB players with at least 10 AB's with a .727 batting average (8-for-11). Five players, including Padres prospect Jedd Gyorko and Braves star Jason Heyward, have three home runs thus far.
Derek Holland is the leading candidate in MLB for arm surgery, as he leads all hurlers with seven innings pitched.