Ah, spring training. It is a time of much bafoonery. Spectators, broadcasters, and analysts want to assign importance to every occurrence, probably because we have gone several months since any actual baseball has happened. We all gobble up every new video and blog post from regional writers in order to satiate our desire for more knowledge about our favorite teams and their chances in the new year.
Unfortunately it doesn't really help. There has never been any sort of correlation between winning in spring training and winning in the regular season. Players who perform well in the spring won't necessarily do well when they relocate north. Spring training is a time of small sample size, varying competitiveness, and players working on new skills. In other words, it doesn't portend jack squat.
But you know what? Who cares. This is all we have right now. So let's dive in and see what various Rockies have been up to during the early going.
Four Rockies with at least eight at-bats are hitting above .400. They include Paul Janish (.600), Carlos Gonzalez (.500), Corey Dickerson (.412), and Wilin Rosario (.400). CarGo owns the highest OPS of the group at 1.350, though he doesn't have a homer. None of the above four do. I find it amusing that Janish, probably the worst hitter with a chance to make the big league club, is leading the team.
The only guys to have hit jacks this spring are catcher Ryan Casteel, outfielder Jason Pridie, catcher Tom Murphy, and utility guy Charlie Culberson. The only guy who has a shot at cracking the roster is Culberson, though even he might be a long shot. Murphy, who also has two doubles this spring, is an interesting player though. He's a young catcher working his way through Double-A, always hitting well and he has received good reports on his defense. He might make his way onto the roster as a September call-up.
Among the candidates vying for the last outfield spot, Dickerson, Charlie Blackmon (.794 OPS), and Brandon Barnes (.333 average) have acquitted themselves well. The highest paid guy vying for a spot, Drew Stubbs, has not shown much, as he's been held to a .125 average with five strikeouts in eight at-bats. Most of those at bats have come against righties, against whom Stubbs has struggled mightily in his career (.652 OPS). Stubbs is probably a lock for the roster, but it would be nice if he started displaying the power and speed he's known for.
And notables sailing on the .000 brigade: Troy Tulowitzki, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Jordan Pacheco, Josh Rutledge. I think it's pretty safe to say these guys will never get a hit for the rest of their careers. Oh well. They had a pretty good run.
Pitchers who have impressed so far: Franklin Morales (5 IP, 0 ER, 6 Ks), Tyler Matzek (5 IP, 0 ER, also 6 Ks), Rex Brothers, and Juan Nicasio (3 IP, no runs for both pitchers). Guys who need to get their act together: Jorge De La Rosa (21.60 ERA), LaTroy Hawkins (18.00) and Rob Scahill (16.87).
I wish real baseball would start.