Rockies spring training: How are the roster battles playing out?

Rob Tringali

We're a week and a half into Cactus League play, and predictably, nothing has really been settled quite yet. However, here's a look at how the players involved are performing thus far.

I'm fully aware that baseball can't entirely be judged on statistics. That's why, as I've mentioned many times, I fall somewhere in the middle of the seemingly endless -- and certainly intolerable -- sabermetrics debate. While statistical analysis does work pretty well when evaluating regular-season performance, it's probably not the best way to figure out how players are doing in spring training.

But, I'm going to do that anyway, since I've had the opportunity to watch only one Rockies game (thanks, MLB/ else is responsible!) and haven't been able to get a good grasp on how the players actually look.

There are a few positional battles that still need to be settled in Scottsdale -- namely, the fifth starter, second base and center field spots. There are also decisions to be made in the bullpen and at some of the backup spots. Here's a look at how those candidates have performed thus far, purely from a statistical standpoint:

No. 5 starter

*To me, it was pretty overblown to say that this was actually going to be a competition entering the spring, as it seemed unlikely that anyone but Juan Nicasio would end up in this spot. However, with the injury to Jhoulys Chacin and somewhat disturbing lack of news on that front as of late, this has become a legitimate battle.

Christian Friedrich 3⅔ 3 7 3 6
Jordan Lyles 5 1 6 1 3
Franklin Morales 7⅓ 3 9 2 9
Juan Nicasio 7 0 3 1 7

Second base

*This has become less of a battle after Josh Rutledge missed the first week of action with an injury. But still ...

DJ LeMahieu 20 18 3 0 0 2 0
Josh Rutledge 7 7 2 1 1 0 1

Center field

Charlie Blackmon 23 22 5 3 0 1 0
Corey Dickerson 23 22 8 4 1 1 2
Drew Stubbs 16 15 3 0 0 1 7


*Boone Logan's status has a lot to do with how many of these guys will wind up making the Opening Day roster, as well as a reason for why I included a couple of these guys.

Chad Bettis 3 0 2 1 2
Tommy Kahnle 3⅓ 0 0 2 3
Chris Martin 3⅓ 2 3 0 3
Nick Masset 1 2 2 2 1
Tyler Matzek 6 0 3 2 7
Rob Scahill 3⅔ 5 5 4 1


*There could be two or three spots available, depending on how many outfielders the Rockies decide to carry. It's arguable that Jackson Williams could be included on this list due to Jordan Pacheco's health issues, but I've left him off in favor of Matt McBride for now.

Brandon Barnes 22 20 8 1 0 1 3
Charlie Culberson 22 21 5 2 1 1 2
Paul Janish 20 19 9 0 0 0 1
Matt McBride 20 17 5 3 0 3 2
Michael McKenry 11 11 2 2 1 0 2
Jordan Pacheco 3 3 1 0 0 0 0
Ryan Wheeler 23 22 7 3 0 1 4

This, of course, doesn't include defense for the position players or velocity and pitch repertoire for the pitchers, but it at least provides a snapshot of which players are where in each of these battles.

What do you think? Who has the upper hand in each category so far?

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