The Rockies lost 9-3 in a spring training game against the Angels yesterday. The bats couldn’t get going, as the Rockies mustered just six hits. Three of those six, however, went for extra bases. Raimel Tapia tripled, Stephen Cardullo hit his third home run of the spring, and reserve catcher Anthony Bemboom also went yard.
Greg Holland, who was sharp in his first spring outing, had a rough outing. In 2⁄3 of an inning, he allowed two hits and walked two batters. The velocity looked like it was there, but the command was not. Jason Motte had a similarly poor outing, as he gave up two hits, one a homer, in his inning of work.
While I only watched the stream and wasn’t there like Patrick Saunders was, Antonio Senzatela’s outing was not as bad as his pitching line. He allowed four runs on eight hits in 32⁄3 innings, but seven of the hits he allowed were singles—the eighth was a triple. He walked a batter, which is notable for him because it was his first free pass of the spring, and he hit a batter on a ball in the dirt. But he also struck out five.
It was not the outing he or the Rockies wanted, but it’s not the type of start that will put his contention for the rotation into jeopardy. Saunders asked Black: is it “fair to say that Senzatela remains a candidate to break camp as part of the starting rotation?” Black answered: “Yes, that’s extremely fair to say.”
Thomas Harding spoke with Jason Motte and Bud Black about what Motte needs to do to regain what once made him a dominant reliever. It’s about velocity and command. When Motte pitched in between injuries in 2016, his fastball averaged about 94 mph. That was well down from when he was a centerpiece of the Cardinals’ bullpen. In a very small sample from spring training—just 25 readings—Motte’s fastball has averaged 92 mph. It’s spring and he’s probably not at full strength, but losing more velocity isn’t going to help the 34-year-old. While he’s set to be one of the highest paid members of the Rockies bullpen, Motte will face tough competition to even make the team.
With Chris Rusin temporarily out with injury, and with the possibility that the Rockies will need him to start when he returns, his bullpen role is up for grabs. Drew Creasman talked to Harrison Musgrave about whether or not he’s comfortable being the flexible person out of the bullpen. “My goal is to make it to the big leagues and stay,” Musgrave told Creasman, “it doesn’t have to be as a starter.”
While Musgrave might not be quite as good as Rusin in the same role, having a reliever who can reliably pitch anywhere from one to four innings is an asset.
Prior to the regular season, Drew is also counting down the Rockies top 25 players under 25 year’s old. It’s not a prospect list, but a ranking of players poised to impact the team sooner rather than later. Dahl checks in at number three.
Speaking of rankings, the AZ Snake Pit community ranked the Diamondbacks’ 40-man roster and 16 non-roster invitees. Each one is getting a profile between now and Opening Day. Number 15 is Chris Hermann. You can learn more about him there. More than that, though, 15 days has never seemed so simultaneously close and far away.