Results tagged ‘ Rockies ’
The early reports on the Hot Stove have the Rockies seeking power and experience in the bullpen and skill behind the plate.
The Denver Post has reported the Rockies have expressed interest in Brian Wilson, Grant Balfour, Joe Smith and Jose Veras. In addition, ESPNNewYork.com reported Thursday that the Rockies are courting veteran LaTroy Hawkins, who was a leader and effective pitcher on the 2007 World Series team and is still going strong at age 41.
The Denver Post also mentions Carlos Ruiz as a catching target. To sign Ruiz, the Rockies are going to have to be creative to get Wilin Rosario’s power bat into the lineup with regularity. The team used Rosario at first base last season and right field has been mentioned. Still, there are forces in the organization who see Rosario as an asset because of his power. However, Ruiz is considered strong defensively and in working with a pitching staff, while Rosario is a work in progress. Another possibility behind the plate is Brian McCann, although the price tag may be higher than the Rockies are willing to pay. McCann also can play first base.
– Thomas Harding
Still, the team is looking for improvement offensively, with first base and right field as the positions to target. Look for the Rockies to evaluate Justin Morneau, Marlon Byrd, James Loney, Corey Hart and Nelson Cruz among others.
The Angels have signed starting pitcher Chris Volstad to a Minor League deal with a Spring Training invite.
Volstad, 27, was the 16th overall pick by the Marlins in 2005. The 6-foot-8 righty had a solid rookie season in ’08, posting a 2.88 ERA in 15 games (14 starts), but was never able to duplicate that.
Over the next four years, the last of which was spent with the Cubs, Volstad compiled a 5.14 ERA and averaged 153 innings per season. Last year, he spent the vast majority of the season — minus six relief appearances — pitching for the Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League, posting a 4.58 ERA, a 1.57 WHIP and a 1.30 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 127 2/3 innings.
– Alden Gonzalez
The Rockies enter the second half four games under .500, but at 4 1/2 games behind the National League West-leading D-backs, which has Rockies owner Dick Monfort believing the team is a contender. That assessment will color the team’s approach to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, even though they tend not to make huge moves.
The Rockies were 35-32 when shortstop Troy Tulowitzki left the lineup with a broken rib. Tulowitzki returned for the final series before the break, and team could improve if he can stay healthy and performs to his current numbers (.332, 16 HRs, 52 RBIs in 64 games).
“You’ve got him back — you don’t know for how long; he’s got a history – but if he stays healthy, yeah I think so,” Monfort said when asked if he believes the Rockies have a shot.
Monfort threw cold water on the suggestion that the club could trade All-Star right fielder Michael Cuddyer. Speculation during the break was that the Rockies could deal him for an established pitcher, such as the Cubs’ Matt Garza.
“Not a chance,” Monfort said. “You look at how vulnerable we are when we lose ‘Tulo,’ he [Cuddyer] is a right-handed bat,” Monfort said. “Right-handed corner bats with power are pretty important. You put into the mix he’s a guy that has Major League at-bats, and he plays first base.”
Monfort said he could see trading for “the right starting pitcher,” but he said he will not deal key lineup parts or prized prospects. That’s especially true in the case of Garza, who is a free agent at season’s end. Still, there are holes in the rotation. Juan Nicasio threw well in his final start before the break, after a brief demotion to the Minors. Lefty Drew Pomeranz has yet to have a strong start in the Majors this year.
That could mean the Rockies are more in the market for bullpen help. White Sox All-Star right-hander Jesse Crain has been a prime target, but he currently out with a shoulder injury and it isn’t certain if he’ll pitch before the deadline.
“We’re hoping Nicasio stays good, but that still leaves a hole until [veteran Roy] Oswalt comes back [from a hamstring injury], but that’s no given,” Monfort said. “I guess that’s where you’d look first, but bullpen is something else.
“Starting pitchers don’t profile well here. You just never know when you get one of those, a la [Jeremy] Guthrie, a la Jason Marquis.”
Monfort allowed for the possibility that the right starter at the right price could be had closer to the deadline.
“Everybody’s asking price is huge for these pitchers right now,” Monfort said. “You never know what happens [close to the deadline when teams struggle]. Look at San Diego. They went from a buyer to potentially a seller.”
– Thomas Harding
The Astros acquired the starting pitching they sought when they made a trade with the Rockies late Tuesday to land right-hander Alex White and a Minor League arm in exchange for reliever Wilton Lopez and a player to be named
Less than a week after the Astros tried to send Lopez to the Phillies, they were able to use the arbitration-eligible relief pitcher to acquire White and right-hander Alex Gillingham. White appeared in 23 games (20 starts) for the Rockies last season and was 2-9 with a 5.51 ERA.
Lopez has been a workhorse member of the Astros’ bullpen the past three years, going 6-3 with a 2.17 ERA last season in 64 games. He also had a career-high 10 saves after assuming the club’s closer role following the trade of Myers and ineffectiveness of Francisco Cordero.
– Brian McTaggart
- The A’s will send right-handed reliever Fautino De Los Santos to the Brewers in exchange for catcher George Kottaras, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Kottaras was designated for assignment on Thursday, but no trade has officially be announced.
- Zack Greinke is off the board, and the Braves might not be able to close a deal for Ryan Dempster either. That has led Atlanta to search elsewhere for starting pitching help while also taking a look at the market for relievers, reported our own Mark Bowman.
- The Cardinals are looking to upgrade their starting pitching, according to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. Francisco Liriano was one option, but the White Sox nabbed him on Saturday night. That could lead St. Louis to focus more heavily on the Rays’ James Shields, who is attracting interest from several clubs.
- The race for Padres third baseman Chase Headley is hotly contested but apparently no longer includes the A’s, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- Teams looking for bullpen help are considering Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt, with the Orioles, Yankees and A’s among the possibilities, reported Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- Should the struggling Phillies decide to sell, Shane Victorino could be at the front of the line heading out of Philadelphia. Talks regarding the veteran center fielder are “getting warm,” according to CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury. Outfielders Juan Pierre and Hunter Pence and starting pitcher Joe Blanton also could be trade bait.
- The Red Sox’s interest in Mariners lefty starter Jason Vargas is “mild,” according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.
– Andrew Simon
- The Giants added some infield depth on Friday night, acquiring Marco Scutaro and cash from the Rockies for Triple-A infielder Charlie Culberson.
- Despite losing out to the division rival Angels for Zack Greinke, the Rangers are “not necessarily” turning their attention to the Rays’ James Shields or the Marlins’ Josh Johnson, a source told our own T.R. Sullivan.
- Shields and Johnson are the two premiere names left in the starting pitching market. Several teams, including the Rangers, Dodgers, Braves and Cardinals are rumored to hold interest in Shields. But the veteran right-hander insisted the situation hasn’t been a distraction and that he’d like to remain with Tampa Bay. The Marlins, meanwhile, are asking for a ton in exchange for Johnson.
- The Phillies probably aren’t ready to part with center fielder Shane Victorino just yet, but they are listening to offers, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
– Andrew Simon
* The Rangers, who scouted the Diamondbacks’ Justin Upton earlier this month, had a scout at Thursday’s Tigers-Indians game, reportedly to check out the Indians’ Shin-Soo Choo according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. With the Rangers scoring the fewest runs of any American League club this month entering play Friday, general manager Jon Daniels could be interested in adding another power bat to the lineup ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. According to a tweet from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, however, Texas may have to look elsewhere with the Indians now likely to hold onto Choo.<p>
* It appears the Angels haven’t given up on Rays starter James Shields just yet according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, though one source with knowledge of the team’s thinking described the Angels’ chances of acquiring a starter as “below average and diminishing” as of Thursday. Rosenthal reports the Angels – who he says are also still in the mix for the Brewers’ Zack Greinke — are not the only team still interested in Shields despite his recent slump. He also lists the Rangers, Braves, Dodgers and Cardinals as potential suitors.
* Though the Rockies currently sit in last place in the National League West, don’t expect them to be major sellers at the trade deadline reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman reports that Colorado wants to keep both Michael Cuddyer and reliever Matt Belisle, though the Rockies could be willing to part with Marco Scutaro, Jason Giambi, Rafael Betancourt, Matt Reynolds and Jonathan Herrera.
* The Dodgers have already landed Hanley Ramirez and remain in talks for the Cubs’ Ryan Dempster — and they’re still interested in more, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Knobler writes that the Dodgers have expressed interest in acquiring either Justin Morneau or Josh Willingham of the Twins, though the Twins have said it’s unlikely they part with Willingham. It’s also possible that a potential Dempster deal could expand to include either Alfonso Soriano or Bryan LaHair.
- Paul Casella
- The Cubs’ Ryan Dempster is said to be attracting a lot of trade interest. The Dodgers are one team that has proposed a deal for the veteran right-handed pitcher, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. The Cubs would like to add young pitching in return. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reported that the two clubs were “having somewhat constructive conversations” about a deal by Thursday but that the Tigers and Braves figure to be among the other teams vying for Dempster.
- Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweeted that teams also are expressing interest in two other Cubs, infielder Jeff Baker and outfielder Reed Johnson, who could serve as right-handed bats off the bench.
- Rosenthal and colleague Jon Morosi also reported that the Pirates, Red Sox and Tigers are among the clubs pursuing D-backs shortstop Stephen Drew. The Pirates are still after Arizona outfielder Justin Upton as well, according to Morosi.
- The Tigers, Rangers and Pirates are a few of the teams that have asked the Rockies about second baseman Marco Scutaro, according to the Denver Post. With Colorado in last place in the NL West, the team also could deal relievers such as closer Rafael Betancourt, as well as catchers Ramon Hernandez and Wil Nieves.
- Teams interested in outfielder Carlos Quentin and closer Huston Street of the Padres might end up disappointed. San Diego plans to sign both players to long-term deals before the trade deadline, reported Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- The Twins will look to acquire pitching in exchange for surging lefty Francisco Liriano, wrote Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. The Yankees, Mets, Angels, Braves, Blue Jays and Red Sox highlight the group looking into Liriano.
– Andrew Simon
Usually, facing Giants ace pitcher Tim Lincecum is not a comfortable way to for a player to take his first game at-bats. But the player in this case is the Rockies’ Todd Helton, who has a career .364 (12-for-33) batting aveage with three doubles, a home run and four RBIs against Lincecum. Helton has walked seven times and struck out five against Lincecum.
Joining the lineup today will be shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who is 7-for-38 (.184) with a home run and seven RBIs against Lincecum. Tulowitzki was scratched Monday because of illness and was not in the lineup Tuesday.
In fact, this lineup is quite similar to what the Rockies could be sending out for their home opener April 9 against the Giants. Spots 2-6 will be occupied by second baseman Marco Scutaro, left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, Tulowitzki, Helton and right fielder Michael Cuddyer.
An intriguing move has Charlie Blackmon leading off and playing center field. Blackmon showed positive flashes during a callup last season before suffering a broken right foot. The team’s two biggest prospects are in today, as well. Wilin Rosario, normally a catcher, will be the designated hitter, and Nolan Arenado will play third base.
Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will be the starting pitcher, and left-handed veteran Jamie Moyer also will appear. A close eye will be kept on right-hander Esmil Rogers, who is fighting for a roster spot and wants to push his way into the rotation.
Here is the lineup:
Charlie Blackmon, CF
Marco Scutaro, 2B
Carlos Gonzalez, LF
Troy Tulowtizki, SS
Todd Helton, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Wilin Rosario, DH
Nolan Arenado, 3B
Wil Nieves, C
Jeremy Guthrie, P
On Thursday, Drew Pomeranz will start against the Royals at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Left-hander Josh Outman, obtained from the Athletics in the Seth Smith trade, also is scheduled to appear.
Rockies reliever Rafael Betancourt passed his physical, which makes his new contract official. The Rockies picked up his 2013 option and added an option for 2014 for Betancourt, who became the Rockies’ closer late last season.
In addition, Betancourt and new Rockies catcher Ramon Hernandez were boyhood friends and state all-star teammates in Venezuela. Hernandez’s history with young pitchers should help the Rockies’ staff.
– Thomas Harding