For someone like myself that has been blessed to be involved with Major League Baseball for more than a quarter century, there is nothing like the sweet sounds of a ball thwacking into a catcher’s glove or the crack when a bat squarely meets a pitch. The early days of spring training can seem monotonous, at times, but they have never felt that way to me. The weather has been a little chilly by desert standards here in Scottsdale, but seeing the Rockies involved on the field in their preparations for the 2013 season brings a feeling of warmth to all of us down here.
Most of the position players have arrived, but since their official workouts don’t begin until this weekend, I will save my observations on them for later. The initial work over the next two weeks won’t reveal all that much regarding Jorge De la Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, and Juan Nicasio, but to see them fully involved in all the drills—and doing them with such confidence—is uplifting. Simply stated, the Rockies need this trio to be healthy and effective if 2013 is going to erase the bad memories of last season. Likewise, the presence of Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle, two pitchers that work as hard as any I known during my career, has to be a positive influence on the others attempting to join them in the Rockies bullpen.
That brings us to the questions on the hill for 2013? Has the work done by Drew Pomeranz over the offseason prepared him to develop into the pitcher both he and the Rockies think he can be? Is this the time for Tyler Chatwood to make his breakthrough? Who is going to get the spots in the pen ahead of Betancourt, Belisle, Wilton Lopez, and Rex Brothers? What young pitcher is going to turn heads this spring? Those are the things I am excited to watch over the next 6 weeks.
Speaking of young pitchers, I am anxious to follow lefty Tyler Anderson, a #1 pick in 2011, as he participates in his first big league camp.
I have two CHECK IT OUTs for this blog. You know I am giving you some of my music loves, so if you’re into a strong voice and a great blues guitarist, check out Coco Montoya’s One Fool for Another. Then, tomorrow night on ABC, I am looking forward to seeing Zero Hour, starring Anthony Edwards. It sounds like a combination of National Treasure and 24. Let’s hope it lives up to expectations.