The Rockies lost the final game of the Cactus League season 6-3 this afternoon.
Eddie Butler did not have a good day. It was kind of awful, really. Heading in to the game, Butler was scheduled to throw either three innings or 45 pitches, whichever came first, either in audition or in preparation for his first regular season start on Wednesday in Milwaukee. He left after two and one third innings, during which he gave up five runs on six hits, one of which was a home run. He walked one and even balked in a run. Butler did strike out one, and that one was Robinson Cano, but overall the No. 3 PuRP was just so, so hittable. Based on the bat cracks heard on the Mariners' radio broadcast, the outs were about as loud as the hits.
Butler is still tabbed to start on Wednesday if his health checks out, according to Thomas Harding, but right now I'm not confident we're going to like what we see. If he can't go, then Christian Bergman will likely start for the Rockies on Wednesday. The thing about Bergman is that he's not necessarily better than a hittable Butler. We'll know more later, as will Eddie Butler himself.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Talked to Eddie Butler. Said he doesn't know if he's going to Milwaukee yet. Plane leaves tonight. He brought a suit just in case. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/rockies?src=hash">#rockies</a></p>— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) <a href="https://twitter.com/nickgroke/status/584463453907132418">April 4, 2015</a></blockquote>
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On the offensive side, there was a highlight and a lowlight. Justin Morneau hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second, his third of the spring. Drew Stubbs struck out two more times, which makes it 25 strikeouts in 50 at bats. I'm no math wizard, but I believe that's a 50 percent strikeout rate.
After the second inning, a rotating cast of young position players entered and departed the game. In all, 58 players entered today's game, and most of them looked like this:
Some active roster relievers entered the game for the Rockies though. Lefty Christian Friedrich gave up a triple and struck out one in one and two thirds innings. Middle reliever Brooks Brown gave up one hit in a scoreless inning. Old friend Rafael Betancourt walked one and struck out one in an inning of work. Finally, Jon Axford struck out two in a clean inning.
One final note: Nolan Arenado was a late scratch from the starting lineup. There haven't been any reports as to why, but we'll keep you posted.