Here are my observations on some of the pitching from yesterday's Rockies-Cubs game:
- Jeff Francis had a great outing in terms of results: 4 IP, 0 ER, 1H. I had a decent view of his pitches, and he had good movement on his breaking stuff, less movement on his fastball. His FB generally clocked in the mid-80s, and I think the top speed I saw on a gun was 88. While he held the Cubs to just one hit in four innings, the lineup facing Jeff wasn't Murderers Row, and they weren't missing by much. I'm not complaining, particularly since Francis makes his living using guile rather than power, but this just reinforces the need to put Spring Training results in context.
- Daniel Rosenbaum isn't as refined as Francis, not surprisingly, but I thought he did a good job attacking the strike zone. He deserved a better fate than his line for the day. Two of the hits he surrendered were nubbers, but Edwin Maysonet's inside-the-park home run was struck hard. I like Rosenbaum and think he could be a rotation candidate given some of the issues we've seen so far this spring (it's still way early), and starting might suit him better than relief. I mentioned on Twitter that Rosenbaum isn't as tall as I expected. Baseball Reference lists him at 6' 1", which seems generous. I'm as much a scout as I am an astronaut, but his height concerns me a little since he's not a power thrower, and he'll potentially have less downward angle on his fastball, making for more hittable pitches. That said, and the five hits he surrendered notwithstanding, nothing I saw yesterday in particular made me think that Rosenbaum couldn't be as effective as Tim Hudson, Huston Street and other pitchers who've succeeded despite their relative disadvantage in height.
- I watched Manny Corpas throw about 20 pitches of his bullpen warmup. There was no gun that I could see, but his pitches were hissing and Bo McLaughlin seemed pleased. For my part, it looked like his slider was really moving, which was encouraging.