So that's a rough way to begin the morning. Monday, we heard that Chad Bettis has some tricep tightness. Yesterday, Casey Blake had a crick in his neck. Now Drew Pomeranz couldn't get his hip loose enough to go 3-4 innings in his start against the Dodgers. The good news for Pomeranz is that he DID go 2 innings, allowing no hits and no runs.
(Funny story: Pomeranz's tight hip was in his gluteus muscle around his hip. You know what a gluteus muscle is, right? RIGHT? Yeahhh)
Really, Pomeranz has been an incredibly bright spot in the spring so far. In his 3 starts, Pomeranz has thrown 7 innings, struck out 7, walked 2, and allowed 0 runs on 3 hits. He's basically made one solid regular season start. Sample size and stuff.
Pomeranz is kind of a big deal for the Rockies. Obviously he's had his offseason mishaps, but the team is really counting on his growth not just for 2012, but for him to anchor a rotation for the next 5 or 6 seasons. Nothing's really more encouraging than seeing your top pitching prospect have a strong spring.
Although this might be the part where I'm supposed to add that 7 innings is a terrible sample by which to judge a pitcher. That's like saying that 5 plate appearances is enough to judge a batter by. It's clearly silly. But being encouraged, or even discouraged, doesn't have to be rational or even make sense. I WILL, however, say that proclaiming the team sunk after a poor Spring is a bit shortsighted (not that anyone here is doing that).
Here is a list of guys who the Rockies are counting on and are terrifying the non-objective side of me so far this Spring Training:
3B Casey Blake (0-9, 2R)
2B Marco Scutaro (2-13, R)
LF Carlos Gonzalez (3-15, R, 3 RBI)
That's like 3 or 4 rough games, tops, y'know? Out of 162 games, those 3-for-15 stretches are gonna kind of get brushed under the rug. Kind of like a bad Spring.
I will acknowledge that the guys last Spring who did terribly continued to do terribly, like Jose Lopez and Ian Stewart. Then again, Michael McKenry and Ben Paulsen destroyed the 2011 Cactus League. Also Willy Taveras. Chris Iannetta has always had bomb ST's, and Hector Gomez was a beast in 2010. Just something to think about.
But what fun is Spring Training if you can't make small sample projections? I'm pretty sure Casey Blake is going to end up higher than a .000 OPS or whatever he's at, much like Johnny Herrera's 1.000+ OPS isn't going to hold up either, but come on. What's more fun than Johnny Herrera having a beastly April or Franklin Morales inexplicably pitching competent baseball?
So here's my prediction. The stud of April is going to be:
Michael Cuddyer (.375/.450/.575, 7HR, 26 RBI)
Write it down.
And when this prediction is the kiss of death... well, when you speak of me, speak well.
Only one link, and hardly worth the jump, but read it anyway:
Do you remember a time when Jeromy Burnitz and Preston Wilson roamed the Coors Outfield? A time when Royce Clayton's dreds were "cool"? When Shawn Estes won 15 games with an ERA approaching 6?
Pepperidge Farms Purple Row remembers.
Andrew Mitchell, writing for the Sky Sox, reflects on practically the best Sox club put together offensively, including names like Garrett Atkins, Brad Hawpe, Clint Barmes, and the always unforgettable Andy Tracy.