Both Jhoulys Chacin and David Hale are going to play a pivotal role in the Colorado Rockies' starting rotation this season.
Chacin is such a wild card right now that the Rockies have instead gone with Kyle Kendrick as their Opening Day starter. Will his 86 mph spring fastball get better over the next couple of weeks so that he somewhat resembles his old self at the onset of the regular season?
Meanwhile, Hale could be the first man up in the event of an injury to a current member of the starting five. Such an injury might have already happened; Jorge De La Rosa left the Rockies' game on Friday after his groin issue flared up again. He's in danger of not having enough spring innings under his belt to be ready for the start of the season. Therefore, Hale's last couple of Cactus League outings are that much more important.
Chacin and Hale will take the mound today in a pair of split-squad games. Here's how the Rockies line up on the road against the Cleveland Indians:
At home against the Dodgers, Troy Tulowitzki was initially expected to be on the field behind Chacin, but he was a late scratch. However, there's a reason that isn't the lead to this story; there's no injury or ailment behind his removal from the lineup, just a redistribution of his playing time from manager Walt Weiss.
The game against the Tribe won't be televised, but you can listen via MLB.tv's Gameday Audio (Indians feed only, and only with a subscription). A full slate of TV and radio broadcasts are available for Chacin's start against the Dodgers. ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain will show the game, as will SportsNet LA for those of you in the Los Angeles area. MLB.tv and the aformentioned Gameday Audio are also equipped for viewing/listening to the contest at Salt River Fields.