Rockies vs. Athletics spring training preview: Tyler Chatwood reaches important stage

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Chatwood continues his preparation for the season against the A's tonight, and it's on TV!

Tyler Chatwood will make his second start and third appearance of the spring today when the Rockies take on the Athletics tonight in Phoenix.

It's a pivotal outing for Chatwood at this juncture, as he's trying to rebound from offseason bone chip removal surgery and needs to continue to build strength with only a couple of weeks left in Cactus League play. Thus far, Chatwood is behind the curve in comparison to the Rockies' other starters, having only tossed 4⅔ innings not including his intrasquad outing on Feb. 27.

It's unclear how many innings and/or pitches the Rockies would like to see out of Chatwood tonight, but seeing him go four or five effective (and efficient) frames would be wonderful, and hopefully not to much to ask for. It's getting closer to the start of the season, and as we saw with Brett Anderson on Wednesday, guys are starting to get stretched out. Hopefully Chatwood can do the same without issue.

A.J. Griffin will be on the mound for the A's, who will be fielding a big-league quality lineup that should provide a good test for Chatwood.

Troy Tulowitzki is not in the lineup for the Rockies, as expected, and will be out for at least a few days, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Colorado has a couple of surefire minor leaguers in the lineup mixed in with a few projected starters.

Jon Gray is among a few intriguing players who could see the field in the later innings. Gray has allowed one run in four innings of work while striking out four batters and walking one this spring.

Trevor Story, Daniel Winkler and a couple of others could also see some time with the big club tonight. Should be a fun game to watch -- speaking of which, the Rockies will be on TV for the first time this spring! MLB Network has the coverage, which begins at 8 p.m. MT.


Lineup

COLORADO ROCKIES OAKLAND ATHLETICS
Brandon Barnes - CF Coco Crisp - CF
Charlie Culberson - 3B Josh Donaldson - 3B
Corey Dickerson - LF Jed Lowrie - SS
Michael Cuddyer - DH Yoenis Cespedes - LF
Justin Morneau - 1B Brandon Moss - 1B
Wilin Rosario - C Josh Reddick - RF
Tim Wheeler - RF Alberto Callaspo - DH
DJ LeMahieu - 2B Stephen Vogt - C
Cristhian Adames - SS Nick Punto - 2B
Tyler Chatwood - RHP A.J. Griffin - RHP

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