Chettis made his Cactus League debut today and he had a tough act to follow JDLR’s perfect three-inning outing. He not only threw three innings of perfect ball, but he did on only 31 pitches. Christian Bergman followed Chettis with a perfect two-inning stint. Jason Motte and Miguel Castro continued the perfect game through the seventh inning. Gopherg came on in the eighth to get the first batter but unraveled losing the perfect game, no-hitter, and shutout on three consecutive batters. Walt Weiss popped up from his folding seat by the batter’s on deck circle and brought in Simon Castro. One batter and a ground ball double play to end the Indians threat. Gonzalez Germen closed out the game with a clean inning for a 6-1 final.
The highlight of the game came when the Rockies busted out their bats in the four-run seventh inning rally. The rally was capped by Tom Murphy’s towering two-run shot to the berm in left field. Charlie Blackmon, Mike Tauchman, Brandon Barnes, and Ryan Casteel had an RBI each.
It was nice to see only five strikeouts by the offense, most of them by minor league replacements late in the game. On the other side of the ball, the pitchers recorded nine strikeouts against only one free pass. Gopherg was the only guy who struggled and from my observation, he should not be on the opening day roster in April. He faced four batters and got numerous foul balls from all of the hitters. When these four hitters put the ball in play, they were loud and barreled up for long drives into the gaps.
This report concludes my one week “scouting” trip to the Cactus League games. EdtheUmp and I were going to meet sdcarp but he ended up spending overnight in the hospital with a kidney stone. Ouch.
The potential OD rotation has been impressive thus far and it may allow Jon Gray to slide all the way to #5 starter. JDLR, Chettis, Lyles, and Chatwood all looked great while Gray is still learning the nuances of pitching in the bigs. The back end of the bullpen is very sound with Motte, Qualls, McGee, and Miller. Long relief looks like it will be between Bergman and/or Yohan Flande. That leaves very little room for other bullpen spots.
Dan Descalso is starting to get into an offensive rhythm and he got hit in the hand. The x-rays were negative. Ryan Raburn made a start for the second consecutive day and he has done nothing to hurt himself from potentially overtaking Brandon Barnes for the fourth outfielder spot. It will come down to Raburn’s RH bat or Barnes’ defense.
The shortstop and utility spots continue to be a battle between Rafael Ynoa, Descalso, Adames, and Tulo 2.7.