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Monday Morning Rockpile: Spring Hopes Eternal

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I think there must be a federal law that no bad news may be reported for the week after pitchers and catchers report. In a couple of weeks we'll start hearing about pitchers being a little stiff, or outfielders experiencing a little tightness in their hamstrings, or that the added twenty pounds of muscle were actually twenty pounds of cheeseburgers and donuts, but right now, everything's peachy:

Mark Prior and Jim Edmonds are fit as fiddles.

Randy Johnson and Doug Davis are healthy and looking good.

Russell Martin has a plan to keep his endurance up for 152 games this year and Joe Beimel's hair remains long.

Okay, so this is obviously a little bit of an exaggeration. Milwaukee, for instance, has already been hit with some bad news regarding Yovani Gallardo, but it's just a caution to take early reports out of Spring with a grain of salt. For Colorado, the early optimism of our reporters seems to be pointing to the bullpen and the two relievers who showed up a day late to camp yesterday. Brian Fuentes and Luis Vizcaino are both being counted on to provide critical, high-leverage outs, and the team is confident they'll be able to do so. Me? I think Fuentes should be fine, but I'm not convinced about Vizcaino yet. From Troy Renck's article we get this quote from Dan O'Dowd:

"The strikeout ability is there. We know that at times the base on balls and deep counts will drive us crazy, but the ability to get a strikeout is huge. We also feel he's the type of guy who is going to fit into the culture of our clubhouse. There are no concerns."

The question is how far into crazy those walks will drive us. Vizcaino's BB/9 last season was as high as it's been since his rookie year, so he'll need to show that was anomalous and not something that's going to be repeated over the next couple of seasons before I get on board.

Ryan Spilborghs has taken lessons from the Todd Helton school of facial growth in the offseason, and apparently his truck got vandalized by a miscreant steer in the Coors Field parking lot this winter.