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Wednesday Rockpile: Don't Panic (Seriously), Ian Stewart Injury Update, and Player Profiles

Well my fellow Rowbots, after one week of spring training, not much has been good news for the Colorado Rockies--having lost all seven games they've played in while suffering poor performances all around as well as some few injuries along the way. Good thing none of it matters as long as the team is ready to play come Opening Day--and with the emphasis being placed on fundamentals by Clint Hurdle and staff, we'd better hope that the Rockies will be ready to go when that date does come. My gut, scientific instrument that it is, tells me that in the long run this past week will do the Rockies more good than ill, though I'd rather they had snagged at least one victory in their first seven games. Just remember this classic Monty Python song: 


Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad,
Other things just make you swear and curse,
When you're chewing life's gristle,
Don't grumble,
Give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best.

Always look on the bright side of life.


The moral of the story is that Rockies fans shouldn't panic. Yet. Wait until early April for that. Or whenever Manny Ramirez finally signs with the Dodgers (the sky is falling, I tell you!). Today the Rockies have only a "B" game at Hi Corbett against the Diamondbacks, which is closed to the public, in which Jason Marquis will get in some work--so no game thread (or wrap) today.

Troy Renck checks in in his blog with injury updates on Ian Stewart and Jeff Baker as well as news that Ubaldo Jimenez will be starting the Dominican Republic's game against the Cardinals on Thursday. Also, he outlines the pitching restrictions that the Rockies have been adhering to:

For the record, the Rockies’ pitchers have been under strict orders to throw fastballs. The plan is to throw a outside strike, followed by two inside pitches. The only freedom the pitchers had is if they fell behind in the count. However, they were still throwing almost exclusively fastballs. As the pitchers make their third appearance, the restrictions are expected to be gradually lifted.

My opinion as a former pitcher is that fastball location is a categorical imperative for success in MLB, so I heartily approve of trying to nail this concept down early. I'm not sure if the same outside-inside mix should be used every time, but I'm not wholly opposed to the notion.

Of course, Renck disagrees with me on this point, raising the valid point that the pitching and hitting rules (and the team-wide failure that has ensued) are damaging to team morale. 

Hurdle stressed that the focus is on success for the long haul, not in the first week of the Cactus League. Fair enough. But I think he has proved his point. Now it's time to let the players loose.

What I most like about the article is the fact that "eschew" is in the title (I just love that word). Renck writes about the rules in more detail in the article.

The Post also profiles Clint Barmes (highlighting his versatility) and Greg Smith (and his second outing adjustments).

Not to be outdone by his print media colleagues, Thomas Harding writes the obligatory "Alan Embree is a veteran leader" article, as well as a Seth (Dixie) Smith impresses article--because Dixie is the one guy that has consistently performed well so far this spring for the Rockies.

Finally, Chris (insert D adjective here) Iannetta played for the USA WBC team, striking out in his only at-bat.