The Rockies will play under the lights in tonight’s contest with the Texas Rangers. On the bump for Colorado will be righty Chad Bettis, taking on a lineup heavy with Rangers regulars. Bettis, though not currently on the major league roster, will be given another look by a club now in desperate need of starting pitchers.
With the release of Jhoulys Chacin, injuries to De La Rosa and Hale and the Jon Gray service time conundrum, Chad Bettis just may have a shot at breaking camp on the big league roster. His performance today could be pivotal in the final decision. Bettis has made just one other start in major league camp this spring, with an additional appearance as a reliever. In five innings, Bettis has allowed two hits and two walks without giving up a run.
Bettis will face what is, for the most part, the Rangers’ Opening Day lineup. The exception being spring surprise, Carlos Peguero. At 28, Peguero has struggled through (small) parts of four big league seasons for the Mariners and Royals, but appears to be making a case for himself in his first spring with the Rangers. In 13 games, the centerfielder has hit to the tune of a .414/.500/.586 slash line.
The Rangers’ current #1, right hander Nick Martinez, gets the ball for the opposition, making only his third appearance of the spring. Martinez will throw a fastball/changeup/slider combination, his velocity topping out around 90 MPH. A ground-ball pitcher, but not by an overwhelming margin.
The Rockies undoubtably have the offensive upper-hand even without the bats of Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Morneau. Nolan Arenado will hit third, between fellow mashers Cory Dickerson and Wilin Rosario. Combined, the three are responsible for 37 hits so far this spring.
Speed is on their side as well with Barnes, Stubbs and Ynoa in tonight’s starting lineup. It could be interesting to see if any of the three could snag a base against one of the better defensive catchers in the American League.
Brooks Brown is slated for another appearance, an opportunity for him to make a case for the seventh -- or eighth -- spot in the Rockies’ bullpen. This is a high-pressure outing for Brown, coming hot on the heels of Tommy Kahnle’s optioning to minor league camp. Brooks is up against veteran comeback story Rafael Betancourt, who has looked sharp so far... but not as sharp as Brown.
The lineup card:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rockies?src=hash">#Rockies</a> lineup vs. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rangers?src=hash">#Rangers</a> <a href="http://t.co/Ja5s4QpWeO">pic.twitter.com/Ja5s4QpWeO</a></p>— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) <a href="https://twitter.com/harding_at_mlb/status/581190151939825664">March 26, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Catch tonight’s game on Root Sports, MLB Network (delayed) or Texas’ 105.3 The Fan. First pitch is set for 7:05 pm MT.