The Rockies offense was dead for most of the day, but Nolan Arenado's 3-run home run in the sixth inning gave fans and management signs of hope for the future.
Nolan Arenado isn't going to make this easy. His 3-run shot in the 6th would be the Rockies only real offense of the day and it came after just missing home runs in his previous two at bats, both warning track outs, one caught 410 feet from home plate.
Bryan Kilpatrick wrote today about Arenado's emotional state. As one might expect, the Rowbots came out on both sides of the debate: should Arenado start at 3B for the Rockies or spend some time in Colorado Springs first. For in depth analysis on that topic (including the financial/player control implications which people often tend to forget) check out this piece by Andrew T. Fisher. Today's performance would suggest that Arenado intends to make that decision as difficult as possible on management. It would seem the wiser move to keep him in AAA, at least long enough to secure longer team control but... Arenado isn't going to make this easy.
Jhoulys Chacin looked shaky in his 2 and 1/3 innings pitched, walking two, hitting a batter, and giving up a 3-run home run to Josh Reddick in the 3rd, but he claims it was due to lack of focus and not a lingering toe injury, according to the Denver Post.
On the toe:
"It's just sore a little bit, it's nothing big... it's nothing to worry about."
On the performance:
"I lost my focus a little bit... that's what happens when you get behind in counts. You have to throw something in the middle."
I didn't see the game but the Denver Post article notes that Chacin looked clearly bothered by the toe attempting to field a weak grounder. It is obviously still well early in the year, but the number one priority for Chacin has always been throwing strikes so it would be nice to see some improvement in this area throughout the rest of Spring Training.
Jordan Pacheco continued to hit going 1-3 with a run scored. Tim Wheeler, Ramon Hernandez, Gustavo Molina, and Matt McBride would account for the Rockies other base-hits on the afternoon.
New Rockies reliever Jeff Manship also had a rough outing despite striking out two. He gave up two solo home runs on three hits total in his two innings of work. Kensing, Frazier, and Escalona all pitched clean innings. Matt Beslisle gave up a hit and an unearned run.
Great signs from a player the Rockies need to be very careful with, but it's still way too early to get over excited. But is it too early to start thinking about getting ready to one day be excited? Of course not. Nice game kid. Go Rockies.