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Tuesday Rockpile: SBNation's Spring Training feature series, results of first spring intrasquad game

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 If you want to learn the status and personnel of a team this spring, there are plenty of outlets for it.  Each teams' beat writers and national writers will take a swing at picking the 25-man roster.  Heck, I'm doing so myself for the Dodgers at noon MT today.  But what better way to a Purple Row-staff-quality inside scoop on a team than from the staffs of SBNation's team sites themselves?

Starting yesterday, SBNation started a series on the MLB front page, highlighting one team per day, starting with Let's Go Tribe's Ryan Richards' take on the Cleveland Indians.  Why the Indians first?  The powers that be decided to go in reverse order of Vegas odds to win the World Series, and the Indians are 200:1 bets.  That's right, the same team (well, not technically) that was mere outs away from playing (and losing to) the Rockies in the 2007 World Series.  Be sure to check Purple Row's spot on the Rockies in two weeks, with the Nationals feature being posted today by Ed Chigliak of Federal Baseball.


On to things you care about more

As Thomas Harding writes, Jim Tracy was pleased with intrasquad game.  I suppose that's good, but I'll drop dead when I hear a manager say he was "disappointed" with the first intrasquad game in Spring Training.  Wilin Rosario showed some pop, apparently hitting a solid home run while Chris Frey made a circus catch.  Of course, neither has a chance to make the team.  Troy Renck has some takes in the preceding link, notably that Samuel Deduno has electric stuff, Eric Young Jr has had difficulty in LF, and Juan Nicasio had a torn fingernail, explaining his wildness.

Minor injuries are starting to mount, though none are concerning as of yet, though I'll be paying attention to how Rafael Betancourt progresses after three week illness and loss of ten pounds.  Betancourt, Brad Hawpe and Greg Reynolds will miss the first three ST games as precautionary measures.  Reynolds has a sore elbow after being struck by a line drive in batting practice, and Hawpe has an infected toe.  Yummy.

More links after the jump.

Rockies' Spilborghs looks to clean up again after peaceful offseason - The Denver Post
Troy Renck calls Spilborghs "the frosted side of life's mini-wheat."  I love it.  Before the 2008 season, Spilborghs got married, lost his mom, became a father and lost his job.  Hopefully Spilly08 returns, the one that trailed only Matt Holliday and Chris Iannetta in wOBA.

Veteran OF Payton hoping to catch on with Rockies -
Jack Etkin wrote a feature for USA Today on Jay Payton, one of several left fielders who had a lonely spectacular year in Colorado (see Burnitz, Jeromy and Hammonds, Jeffrey).  Essentially, Payton chose the Rockies as the team to ride off into the sunset with.

Bill James ranks Rockies’ young players second in the game | All Things Rockies
I posted this in the Rockpile comments yesterday, but discussion got distracted away from the main point by Matt Kemp.  The esteemed analyst Bill James thinks the Rockies have the second best "young players" in MLB, just one in a long line of significant accolades (Manager of the Year, Executive of the Year, Baseball America's #1 draft) the Rockies organization has earned in the past year.  I also saw somewhere that the Rockies have the second-most international prospects in their BA top 30 list...

Denver's best sports venue? It's Coors - The Denver Post - Patrick Saunders suggests that Coors Field is the best sports venue in Denver.  I agree.  It's odd to think it is the oldest pro sports venue in Denver, and fourth oldest in the NL.

Theo, Ellsbury, and UZR | FanGraphs Baseball
I'm linking this due to speculation I have seen in comments about how much front offices pay attention to these new sabermetric statistics.  Theo Epstein runs the same organization Bill James works for, so I found this interesting:

Epstein: "I know there is a certain number we don’t use that is accessible to people online that had (Ellsbury) as one of the worst defensive center fielders in baseball last year. I don’t think it’s worth anything. I don’t think that number is legitimate."

That "certain number" is UZR.

Lastly, I don't believe this was posted in the last week.  R.J. Anderson at Fangraphs found the top reason to hope Chris Iannetta grasps the starting reins tightly: