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Rockies pitcher Chris Rusin an under the radar role player

Rockies news and links for February 23, 2017.

Rusin’s versatility a plus for the Rockies |

Chris Rusin had an under the radar good season in 2016, and he could play a significant role on the 2017 as well. Here, Thomas Harding highlights Rusin’s ability to start if needed. If 2016 is any indication, however, Rusin will be more effective out of the bullpen.

It’s nice to know that he can start, but right now, he’s probably number seven on the depth chart (behind Jeff Hoffman and Germán Márquez). Teams generally don’t want to rely on their number seven starter. Not only that, but Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela could surpass Rusin on the depth chart if they hold their own to begin the season in the high minors. Rusin’s versatility is valuable, but it might not be a great sign if the Rockies have to rely on him to start more than a few games.

Rockies have mixed feelings about MLB nixing intentional walk pitches | Denver Post

“It’s stupid,” is what Dustin Garneau says about the new rule that instead of four intentional balls, a batter can be given a free pass with a signal from the dugout. Garneau thinks that it lets pitchers off the hook from crossing the low bar of throwing four intentional balls safely home. Adam Ottavino plays the indifferent one here. He doesn’t see an advantage to it, but he says it bothers him “the least of some of the proposed rule changes.” In the role of the embracer, we have Jon Gray: “I like the rule,” he told Nick Groke. Part of his reasoning is that he’d rather just move a batter to first and avoid hearing home-town boos.

Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis gets good news on cancer diagnosis | Denver Post

Earlier this offseason, Chad Bettis was diagnosed with testicular cancer. In his most recent meeting with his doctors, Bettis happily reports, and we happily receive, the news that his prognosis is good and that he remains cancer free.

Story wants to pen tale on defense |

From this day forth, we will know that it is spring training with the arrival of the first Story pun. Spring has sprung. Thomas Harding notes that Rockies’ shortstop Trevor Story wants to round out his game on defense. He made himself known due to his power, but he does have the athleticism and glove skills to be a quality defensive shortstop.