After an off day spent licking their wounds following a sound drubbing from the San Francisco Giants, the Colorado Rockies will be back in action tonight. Their foe? The San Diego Padres, a team the Rockies just finished dismantling in Colorado a few short days ago. Those happy, happy days. This time, Petco Park will be the setting for the contests, and it will be interesting to see how it plays this year.
For various reasons (heavy air, spacious dimensions, what have you) Petco has for years been the most extreme pitcher's park in the Major Leagues; it has been more effective at preventing runs than Pepto-Bismol. So during the offseason, the Padres' management did something about it. They brought the fences in, in the hopes of turning deep flies to the warning track into home runs. Read about the changes here if you would like; essentially, they are bringing in the fences in left center, right center, and right field.
The inimitable Jeff Sullivan takes a look at the early data and has found that a few dingers have already been hit that would not have been dingers before. It's hard to imagine that Petco will ever be a hitter's park, or even neutral, but a few more outs will turn into home runs this year. Lefties in particular ought to like the shorter porch in right field.
Thomas Harding writes about prospects to watch in the Rockies' farm system. Nolan Arenado is having a strong start to his year in AAA, and we are drawing ever closer to the date when the Rockies can call him up to the big leagues without losing him a year early to Free Agency. Tough decisions will then have to be made regarding Chris Nelson, who has been playing pretty well so far.
"They" have always said that the best defense is a good offense, but "they" never met the 2012 Colorado Rockies. Troy Renck writes about how poorly the squad performed in the field in 2012, and that they have focused on improving that aspect of their game for 2013. 150 games of Troy Tulowitzki at Short Stop ought to help; as will an added year of experience for Wilin Rosario and Chris Nelson. This year's iteration should be more effective at turning batted balls into outs.
The people at StadiumJourney.com have published reports of over 1400 different stadiums across the globe, and they recently turned their attention to Salt River Fields, where the Rockies host Spring Training. It scored remarkably well; read the full report here.
Zack Greinke has broken his collar bone after getting into a scrap with Carlos Quentin last night. This is obviously not what Dodger fans want to hear after signing the pitcher to a $147 million contract. It is unclear how long he will be out; and only one day after dealing away Aaron Harang to boot! Just goes to show, you can never have enough pitching. I always hate to see a good player get hurt, no matter whom he plays for; hopefully Greinke will be back in action soon.