Isn't it great to have games underway, even if they are just spring training exhibitions? The early action can be a tease to what lies ahead because teams, as well as individual players, have a process they are going through to be prepared for the actual season. Sometimes, you might see a pitcher get knocked around a bit, only to discover that he was working on a particular pitch or a sequence of pitches that might not be his approach in a real game. Managers put players in different situations to see how they react. They may try some lineup juggling for the same reason. It's fun to watch the process, but it must be remembered that results at this point are evaluations and experiments and nothing more.
Even with that in mind, some early observations can be gleaned. Some of the Rockies younger prospects are coping better with their experience in major league camp. Josh Rutledge appears very businesslike as he goes through his work. The experience he gained from the second half of last season is evident. I have to remind myself that he wasn't even invited to major league camp last spring. Likewise, Chris Nelson, Jordan Pacheco, and Willin Rosario are carrying themselves differently than in 2012. Their continued maturation will only help the club bounce back this season. From the mound, Drew Pomeranz looks better in terms of his approach, while Juan Nicasio appears to be searching for consistency. Add in Christian Friedrich, when he gets medical clearance, Chris Volstad, and some of the other newcomers and it is easy to see that the battle for two of the spots in the starting rotation is going to be the most scrutinized aspect of this year's sessions at Talking Stick.
We will be back on the air with more action later in the week. Streaming games at rockiesradionetwork.com against the Reds and the Brewers at 1 pm MST on Thursday and Friday and play-by-play on 850 KOA and selected network affiliates on Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 MST with the Oakland A’s is the baseball broadcast menu for the rest of the week. Jerry and I hope you will tune in to catch some of the action with your team.
My CHECK IT OUT for today features the CBS drama, NCIS. I realize that as the top-rated drama on broadcast television, there are millions who follow the exploits of Gibbs and his team on a weekly basis. Nevertheless, it is a show that still demands attention, even after 10 seasons on the air. I especially appreciate the depth of the writing. It is easy to get formulaic in a series, especially in a law enforcement drama, but the NCIS writers continue to do a fine job in avoiding that trap. Character development has been particularly evident this season. I also admire Mark Harmon's work, both as the lead actor and as producer. It’s always understated, but it never fails to deliver...at least for me anyway.
Most importantly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my daughter, Megan Corrigan Estes. She is a wonderful wife to John and a terrific mother for James, but in my heart, she will always be my little girl. Have a great B-day, Kiddo!