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Colorado Rockies prospect Jeff Hoffman learned the hard way in Thursday's spring start

News, notes, and links for Friday, March 18.

Colorado Rockies' prospect Jeff Hoffman struggled on Thursday.
Colorado Rockies' prospect Jeff Hoffman struggled on Thursday.
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Scottsdale, Ariz. -- Pitchers aren't going to have their best stuff every outing—really, in most outings—and even the brightest of stars dim occasionally on the biggest of (spring) stages. Jeff Hoffman learned that lesson again on Thursday in a start against the Los Angeles Angels that didn't exactly go to plan for the much-heralded righty.

No matter; back at 'em tomorrow the Rockies go, and then for Hoffman again a few days from now. We've got that and more today in our Rockpile; also, I'm just back from another few days in Scottsdale, so get ready for a lot more as far as interviews, video, etc., etc. over the next week.

Falling behind costs Hoffman in rough start —

Hey, it happens. And it's going to happen a lot more to him and every other young pitcher in the organization. The next step is really two-fold: (1) improve next outing so as not to make the same mistakes in the same way again, and (2) learn how to get by and be just good enough in starts where the best stuff doesn't show up. (That second one is arguably far more important than we probably realize.)

Prospect Marquez excelling in first big league camp —

This is a good story and a good angle; German Marquez is a guy I would've loved to talk to this week, and I never found myself in the clubhouse at the same time as the young righty. (That's what I get for spending time on the back fields with the minor leaguers!) Tom Murphy, Dustin Garneau, and Jackson Williams have all spoken very highly about Marquez in conversations I've had with the catchers, though. That's no accident.

Barnes, Ynoa know all about roster bubble —

Jay Milnes shared this one yesterday, but it's worth a read if you haven't yet. I spoke with Rafael Ynoa on Thursday afternoon about his role as a utility infielder, and he admitted to me that he knows the drill with being a bench guy, and how that plays itself out in the spring time, but when it comes time to prepare for games, he looks at himself like a starter. A good conversation with him, for sure; Ynoa is an interesting guy. More on him on this website very soon.

March Madness hits the Rockies clubhouse at spring training — Denver Post

This is a fun story. I watched as reporters put this one together around the clubhouse on Thursday morning; I watched poor Chris Rusin do three consecutive interviews about March Madness and the University of Kentucky's basketball team, and when I walked up to him to chat about pitching, he breathed a big sigh of relief and thanked me for not asking more about basketball. Anybody out there still got a perfect bracket after day one?

Barnstormers sign four pitchers for upcoming season — Lancaster Online

The independent Atlantic League's Lancaster Barnstormers signed Bryan Evans, a righty who caught on with the Colorado Rockies at the Double-A level for most of the year last summer. Evans threw well with the New Britain Rock Cats, but became a free agent after the season, and now he's back in independent ball, looking for another affiliated gig.