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Battle for the Rotation begins in Colorado Rockies first Spring Training game

Drew Creasman Avatar
February 24, 2020

It was a beautiful spring afternoon in Tempe Arizona and there was baseball again.

The glorious sounds, smells and sights returned. Though not the stakes. And the battles have begun.

It is the time of year when those whose spots are not sure thing, fight and scratch and claw for a place on the team.

The Colorado Rockies finally got their Spring Training season officially underway on Sunday afternoon in a 7-5 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels. But the story was, of course, the battles.

Especially on the mound, we are already starting to see what the future may look like for this team that has so many questions.

The game itself was a relatively dull affair, with the most exciting moment from the Rockies coming on a game-tying three-run homer off the bat of Eric Stamets who is a long shot to make the team. A pair of monster foul balls from Dom Nunez and David Dahl were fun to look at, but the Colorado offense was otherwise pretty stagnant. Elias Diaz did look solid in his debut in purple, hammering a double and putting together a nice AB before flying out in his two appearances.

The pitching was a bit rough, too.

Jeff Hoffman gave up a pair of runs on a pair of two-out doubles in the first two innings. He didn’t help himself by issuing a four-pitch walk to begin the game, and his spring, but otherwise didn’t pitch terribly. He was just missing spots on the fastball and still managed to produce plenty of ugly swings with the curve. He will need to tighten up though, especially on 40 pitches in just two frames, if he is going to win a position in the rotation.

“I threw all of my pitches and it felt good to get them all into live action,” he told gathered media after his outing. “They all had good shape and that was one of the things I was focused on. From here on we can kind of fine-tune things.”

Ryan Castellani was super wild, walking three guys and unleashing a wild pitch that allowed a run. His breaking pitches have more movement than a salsa class but he will need to improve his command and control to become a factor for an MLB spot. He still looks most likely to start at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Ashton Goudeau looked very solid in his first inning of work, pitching smartly around a leadoff single, but surrendered a couple of hits and a run in his second frame.

Joe Harvey was knocked around for two more runs on three hits in the seventh.

Lefty James Pazos and newcomer Tyler Kinley each pitched a hitless, scoreless frame.

As always, no conclusions can be drawn from baseball games in February, but it is nice to have them back.

 

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