FREELAND A CONTENDER FOR ROTATION DESPITE ROUGH OUTING MONDAY
surprise, ariz.» Crunchtime is arriving fast as the Rockies sort out their 25-man roster during the final days of spring training. So there was a lot on the line for lefthanders Kyle Freeland and Harrison Musgrave on Monday in a Cactus League game against Texas.
Neither pitcher’s raw numbers were crunchtime worthy, but both did enough good things to leave manager Bud Black with some positives to chew on.
Freeland, who has been sharp most of spring training, was not at all sharp Monday, giving up four run on seven hits and three walks. Mike Napoli crushed a long, solo homer off Freeland in the fourth. Freeland needed 94 pitches in less than five innings of work, which is too many.
Still, Black found some things to like, including the fact Freeland didn’t let things completely unravel in a game the Rockies lost 6-5.
“His control and command was not what we have seen in the previous three games,” Black said. “But he battled, and he made
Otto’s struggles. Right-hander Adam Ottavino, always a tough self-critic, used the word “terrible” to describe his performance this spring. But he also said he’ll get his release point fixed before the regular season begins, thus gaining command of his fastball and usually wicked slider. The right-hander has a 5.19 Cactus League ERA with 10 strikeouts and seven walks in 8M innings.
“This spring, probably the thing that has surprised me the most is that he’s been variable with his command, with his location,” Black said. “I think that is abnormal for him. But I know there were a couple outings where he was trying to working on things and his mechanics, so shutdown innings weren’t really a priority.”
Roster moves. The Rockies made three rosters moves Monday, optioning outfielder Raimel Tapia to Triple-A Albuquerque and reassigning infielders Daniel Castro and Rafael Ynoa to minor-league camp. Tapia, one of the club’s top prospects, had a solid camp, hitting .269 and fielding well, but with the outfield already crowded with lefthanded hitters, the Rockies will start him at Triple-A to make sure he gets enough atbats.
The Rockies now have 38 players in major-league camp, including five nonroster players: outfielder Chris Denorfia, first baseman/oufielder Stephen Cardullo, catcher Anthony Bemboom, Musgrave and Freeland.