The Rain Can't Ruin Rockies Notes (3/19)

The Colorado Rockies had Spring Training games cancelled and postponed Sunday. Inclement weather postponed a split squad game with the Padres and forced the Rockies and Mariners to call it a day in the fifth inning. Monday is a new day and if the weather is nice we'll all get to see the Rockies and Angels play baseball at 4:10 p.m. EST. 

Right-hander Tyler Chatwood was the Rockies starter against the Mariners, who were throwing Hector Noesi on the hill. Chatwood's velocity was fine as he hit 95 mph once and was sitting between 90-93 mph, but the results left something to be desired. He started off alright early, but struggled a lot in the third before ultimately having to be removed in the fourth inning for not being able to get anyone out reaching his pitch count.

Chatwood threw 61 pitches, 36 for strikes. He walked three and struck out three. He surrendered seven hits, plenty of them hard hit, and one of them left the yard after it was absolutely blasted off of the bat of Mariners 3B Kyle Seager

I don't mean to slam Chatwood here, but this is where I point out that you'd be hard pressed to find anyone covering the Rockies who is writing that they believe this guy is actually going to make the rotation. Sure, they traded one of their starters last season (Chris Iannetta) to get him, but I've already gone over the warning signs about pitching Chatwood in Coors Field ad nauseam. He's a fly ball pitcher with power stuff, which isn't a recipe for success as a sub 6-foot right-hander at Coors. 

Frankly, it's much more likely that the Rockies choose RHP Guillermo Moscoso or LHP Jamie Moyer to be the club's 5th at the end of Spring Training. It's even possible that the Rockies choose both and use Moyer in the bullpen as a long man and second lefty. Or maybe they choose LHP Josh Outman and his cool socks, but I can't really see that happening either. 

Here are some notes about outfield bench spots and starting pitchers Jhoulys Chacin, Drew Pomeranz, and Jamie Moyer. 

--OF/1B Tyler Colvin continued his hitting display this spring Sunday despite the game being cancelled. Colvin hit two line drives before the rain came and has looked good with the stick all month. He's hitting .346 this month with 1 HR and 7 RBI. I think Colvin will grab one of the bench outfielder jobs. He gives the team a little versatility, he played 1B Sunday. Michael Cuddyer can also play outfield and first, but the Rockies also like Colvin's left-handed power bat off the bench. Charlie Blackmon, his main competition, has the speed to play all three outfield positions, but isn't the type of power hitter Colvin is. 

--RHP Jhoulys Chacin, who was scheduled to pitch four innings March 15, came out of the start after three innings and 44 pitches due to a blister on the tip of his right index finger. However, neither Chacin nor manager Jim Tracy expect his Cactus League pitching schedule to be affected.

Chacin held the Cubs scoreless for three innings March 15, allowing one hit and one walk with one strikeout.

"The blister started when I was throwing in the bullpen," said Chacin, who is projected as the Rockies No. 2 starter. "I told the trainer. They used super glue to try and stop it. It got bigger during the game, and they just wanted me to stop. I was almost pitching with three fingers. But I could still throw my fastball for a strike."

In three spring starts, Chacin is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA over eight innings. He has allowed six hits and four runs, two earned, with two walks and five strikeouts. Tracy said had it been during the regular season, Chacin would have stayed in the game, adding he didn't expect the blister to be an issue going forward.

"His command is there, and his breaking stuff is very tough to deal with," Tracy said. "He's returning to form."

--The Rockies are being cautious with LHP Drew Pomeranz, giving him additional rest following a March 13 start which he left after two perfect innings with inflammation in his right glute. Rather than have Pomeranz pitch on March 18 as scheduled, the Rockies pushed his next outing back to March 21 in a minor league game, where he is expected to throw 60-75 pitches. March 21 is the only off day of the spring for the Rockies.

Pomeranz, who has pitched seven scoreless innings in three spring starts with two walks, seven strikeouts and three hits allowed and an opposing batting average of .136. He has dealt with this tightness before and wasn't worried. Trainer Keith Dugger did not think the inflammation was a major concern, but the fact that it was lingering two days later led the Rockies to exercise caution and give Pomeranz additional rest.

"I think they're doing it to line me up for something," he said. "I thought I was going to get pushed back a day or two, maybe, but there's no rush. I think it's all precautionary, just to give me plenty of time."

Having Pomeranz pitch March 21 and work every fifth day would line him up to pitch April 10, a day when the Rockies are off. Assuming they stay on schedule with a five-man rotation from the outset of the season, Pomeranz could pitch April 11 against the Giants in the Rockies fifth game of the season. However, it would be speculative to project the rotation for the first week of the regular season at this point in March.

--LHP Jamie Moyer, 49, suffered a slight setback in his bid to win a spot in the Rockies rotation. After two good outings in Cactus League games, Moyer was scheduled to start March 16 in a minor league game. But he was scratched from that outing with stiffness in his left leg.

Moyer, who is in camp on a minor league contract and trying to return to the majors after missing the entire 2011 season following Tommy John surgery, is in the mix for the fifth starter's spot in the rotation. In two Cactus League games,. Moyer is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA, allowing four hits and one run in five innings with no walks and three strikeouts. There is no timetable for when Moyer will return.

"Jamie's got some stiffness and soreness in his drive leg and we want to err on the side of caution because of what he's just dealt with as far as arm surgery was concerned," manager Jim Tracy said. :We have to have him feel like there's no issue whatsoever. We have to have that all sorted out or risk him hurting himself in an area where there's just soreness."

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