Sarah Ford writes about Greg Holland’s extremely encouraging first trip back to game action since his Tommy John surgery. Spring training stats aren’t very telling, but that doesn’t mean spring training itself isn’t, especially for someone like Holland. He was sitting 93-95 with his fastball, and he had command of it. He also said that he made an effort to mix in his slider and curveball. It was just an inning in spring training, but hearing good things about an inning is most definitely better than hearing bad things.
New old Rockies hitting coach Duane Espy compares LeMahieu to late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. That’s high praise! Significantly, however, it’s not just a comparison based on batting average. Espy tells Matt Faye of Cronkite News in Arizona that LeMahieu’s work ethic is what really reminds him of Gwynn. This is the type of news that should stave off the easy “LeMahieu will come down to earth” analyses. While it is hard to imagine LeMahieu replicating his 2016, it’s not hard to imagine him remaining a critical part of the Rockies’ offense.
As we all know, baseball is 90 percent mental, while the other half is physical. Ian Desmond is using his recovery time to bone up on the mental part of things. While he can’t take reps at first base, he’s still in a position to study it and prepare for his return to the cold corner. That should be in about mid-April.
Ben Macaluso continues his series counting down the 100 greatest Rockies players of all time. Manny Corpas, mostly on the strength of what he did for the team during its 2007 run to the World Series, comes in at around the halfway mark here.
The Rockies play the Dodgers during their opening weekend, and there’s a good chance they’ll see Clayton Kershaw in one of those games. If so, he’s as likely in Coors Field as anywhere to have the odd line he put up in yesterday’s spring training game. He struck out eight batters in five innings, but he also allowed three home runs.
In fact, Kershaw’s line yesterday looks much more like something Jeff Samardzija would put up. While he seems like a spastic pitcher, Grant Brisbee shows that he really puts up more or less the same numbers year after year. If the Rockies catch him on an off day, they’re set up to offer up a barrage of homers.