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Kyle Freeland, Cristhian Adames pushing to make Rockies’ Opening Day roster

Colorado Rockies news and notes for Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Colorado Rockies earned a come-from-behind walk off win yesterday, defeating the Brewers 5-4. Cristhian Adames, who is making a push to earn a utility spot on the Opening Day roster, hit the game winning home run to earn the victory. He is now hitting .323/.333/.645 (!) in 31 at bats. His three home runs this spring are more than he has hit in 293 major league at bats. One of his primary competitors for the spot, Pat Valaika, went 2-for-3 in the game to bring his spring line up to .296/.387/.741 (!!) in 27 spring at bats. Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, and Trevor Story all reached base and all currently own an OPS north of 1.200 in the spring.

On the pitching side, Kyle Freeland was impressive, throwing four shutout innings while allowing five hits and no walks with five strikeouts on 57 pitches (38 strikes). He’s competing for a rotation spot (more below) with German Marquez, who gave up three runs on two hits and two walks in 313 innings yesterday.

Adames' walk-off homer powers Rockies past Brewers |
Cristhian Adames pushes game-winning homer, Kyle Freeland pitches stoutly in Rockies rally vs. Brewers | Denver Post

In other spring training news, old friend Drew Creasman is on the ground in Scottsdale and took in some good backfields action yesterday. Not only did he get to see the Rockies’ previous two first round picks, Brendan Rodgers and Riley Pint, square off, but he also got some sweet, borderline-NSFW video of Pint’s fastball and changeup.

My, oh, my, did it get hot in here or is it just me?

Freeland motivated to earn spot in rotation |

Yesterday’s strong outing was important to Kyle Freeland and his goal of entering the rotation from the start of the season. The Denver-native wasn’t exactly facing a Murderer’s Row of hitters, but with Chad Bettis out for an indefinite time, there are likely two rotation spots open and Freeland, motivated by not earning a cup-of-coffee call up last September, is aiming for it.

Greg Holland looks like the shutdown closer he was before Tommy John in first Rockies spring game | Denver Post

It was a major milestone for reliever Greg Holland yesterday, as he saw live opposing batters for the first time in over 18 months. Sure, these were mostly minor league fill-ins so the clean inning doesn’t look that impressive—until you consider he reached 95 mph with his fastball and was earning swings and misses on his slider and curveball. After yet more of the Rockies’ depth was tested on Tuesday, Holland’s performance is a light on the injury front.

Farm System Rankings: Overall (10-1) |

The official site for Minor League Baseball released their farm system rankings yesterday. These are different from the MLB Pipeline rankings and they seem to consider slightly different criteria to make their rankings. They ranked each system based on their pitchers, hitters, and 21-and-under players. The Rockies fared well in each of these: they were named the seventh best system for pitchers, ninth best for position players, and tenth best for players age 21-and-under.

Hangover Effect: Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney Podcast | ESPN

Yesterday Bud Black appeared on Buster Olney’s podcast to talk about the recent spate of injuries suffered in Rockies camp.