Outfielder Brenton Doyle was smacking the ball during batting practice Thursday, looking powerful and confident.
Early in camp, as players make first impressions, Doyle’s name keeps popping up as a possibility to make the Rockies’ 26man roster, especially with Randal Grichuk out with a sports hernia injury that will likely sideline him beyond opening day.
“I sure wouldn’t count Doyle out, he’s looked really good,” general manager Bill Schmidt said.
The 24-year-old moved up the ladder last season, slashing .246/.287/.450 with 23 home runs, 21 doubles, three triples and 23 stolen bases at Double-a Hartford. After his promotion to Triplea Albuquerque on Sept. 20, he hit .389/.463/.778 with three home runs in nine games (41 plate appearances).
“I finished up last year on a high note and with a lot of confidence,” said Doyle, who’s competing in his first big-league camp. “So I came here riding that confidence and I’ve put in a lot of hard work this offseason. I’m excited to show it.”
The fact that Doyle can play all three outfield positions is a bonus.
Right-hander Peter Lambert, coming back from a long battle with elbow problems — he had Tommy John surgery in July 2020 and has made just two bigleague starts since — threw his second live bullpen on Thursday.
Even though Charlie Blackmon cranked a homer to right field on a middlemiddle fastball, Lambert has been impressive and his fastball velocity has been solid.
“He looks great and I’m happy for Peter,” manager Bud Black said. “It’s been a long road for him but he’s throwing the ball as well as
I have ever seen him. His stuff has action and looks good out of his hand.”
Right-hander Riley Pint, who’s sidelined with a mild left oblique strain, said he won’t miss much time.
“It’s not that sore,” he said. “I tore the left oblique muscle in 2018, so this is nothing compared to that.”
Colorado begins its Cactus League season on Saturday against the Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields. Right-hander Noah Davis is scheduled to start and throw two innings (35-40 pitches), followed by lefties Fernando Abad and Ty Blach, and then right-handers Matt Koch, T.J. Zeuch and Karl Kauffmann.