After his talk with German Marquez last week, Thomas Harding chatted with another competitor for the Rockies’ starting rotation, righty Jeff Hoffman, about his approach to the 2017. Hoffman was on an innings limit in 2016, his first full professional season after recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Hoffman said he is looking to replicate the success of White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon, a fellow top 10 draft pick in 2014 who pitched at NC State while Hoffman was at East Carolina. Rodon made 28 starts with the White Sox last season, posting a 4.04 ERA and 1.39 WHIP with 168 strikeouts in 165 innings.
In likely his last chance to rank him, ESPN’s Keith Law ranked Hoffman at No. 96 on his list of baseball’s Top 100 Prospects entering 2014. Given that Law did not even have Nolan Arenado and Jon Gray in his Top 100 in their respective final years of eligibility, Hoffman must be amazing. Riley Pint also made Law’s list, at No. 83.
The Rockies kicked off their 2017 Caravan on Monday, with stops in Golden, Aurora and at Coors Field. Patrick Saunders caught up with second baseman DJ LeMahieu in Aurora. LeMahieu expressed confidence in new first baseman Ian Desmond, ranking Desmond and Trevor Story as the best athletes on the team.
Also at the Caravan was Chad Bettis, who had a scare with testicular cancer this winter, but is now cancer free and ready to start Spring Training next month. Bettis said he was overwhelmed by the support from fans during his battle with cancer, and that he is excited for the upcoming season.
A new study out yesterday looked at the effect of jet lag on baseball games, determining that teams traveling east have a tougher time than those going west. That could explain the Rockies’ annual dreaded East Coast road trip.