Jon Gray threw a bounce back start yesterday against the Diamondbacks' Triple-A team. His line was superficially mediocre--4.2 innings, three runs, three hits, four strikeouts--but Gray was positive about how he felt on the mound, particularly after getting torched the week before. Gray said it was "the best I've felt all spring." He also sounded very zen about the possibility of getting sent to Triple-A to start the season: "no matter where I am, you're going to get my best." Gray has a good head on his shoulders.
Additionally, Jorge De La Rosa threw a 30 pitch bullpen and checked out well. He won't make the home opener, but the article said he could debut April 14, meaning he would miss just one start. Fingers crossed.
You'll find similar analysis from the Denver Post. Nick Groke tries to read the tea leaves of who will open up the year in the starting rotation. Will Eddie Butler, Christian Bergman, Chad Bettis, or Gray make it? Groke even suggests that Butler and Bergman might piggyback a start in Milwaukee, ala 2012. Let's hope that's the only similarity between 2012 and this year.
John Axford threw a perfect inning against some minor leaguers yesterday. It was his first action since leaving the team to care for his son Jameson, who was bitten by a rattlesnake. It sounds like Jameson will be okay and Axford will be ready for Opening Day. Two thoughts: 1) Jameson is an awesome name, and 2) snakes are terrifying. They hide in the grass all day just waiting to pounce. What kind of sick world do we live in where the fastest animal in nature doesn't even have arms or legs?
Grantland's look at the NL West doesn't differ from most national pundits; the Dodgers will rule, the Padres will make noise, and the world champ Giants won't have their even year magic. Oh, and the Rockies and Diamondbacks exist. Jonah Keri doesn't see the Rockies going anywhere with their crummy rotation and injury prone players. Hard to argue with that.
Here's a fun little article from fellow SB Nation blog The Good Phight. The question was whether a playoff team could be constructed from the best players from the Phillies, the Rockies, and the Diamondbacks. In a chat, Fangraphs chief Dave Cameron said no, so The Good Phight pored over the question in extreme detail in order to prove him wrong, as people on the internet are wont to do. It's a good read; come for the analysis, stay for the potshots at Cameron. Phillies fans have even more gallows humor than Rockies fans right now.
The infield is incredible, with Tulo and Nolan Arenado holding down the left side while Chase Utley and Paul Goldschmidt man second and first. The starting rotation is still dicey though; Cole Hamels is the only real lock to be good (and maybe De La Rosa). The Rockies aren't the only team with difficulties finding pitching. At least the bullpen should be nasty (though someone should tell 88Landros88 that Rex Brothers might not be a great addition to the super team when he can't even make the Rockies).