The Coors Effect

March 16, 2010 9:48 PM

Few surprises in first round of cuts

The first round of cuts from spring training came, and none of the players sent out are really that surprising.

Among the five pitchers sent out, none have pitched above AA.  Juan Nicasio has potential that he showed in dominating the South Atlantic League last season, but he's not ready for the majors.  Chaz Roe impressed in two outing in spring training, but he still needs more polish, and should slot into the rotation at Colorado Springs.  He probably won't be the first player to get called up if a starter goes down -- Jhoulys Chacin, Esmil Rogers, and Samuel Deduno are closer to being ready -- but could become an option later in the season if he pitches well.

The two position players sent out were a bit surprising, if only because their performance suggested that the Rockies might want to take a longer look at them.  Hector Gomez hit .353/.421/.647, and while 17 at bats isn't a big enough sample size to draw conclusions, the Rockies may push up their timetable for him to reach the majors.  Gomez has the tools to succeed in the majors; the question marks have always surrounded his skills.  He still needs to get better plate discipline, but he's closer to being ready for the majors than you might think.  While I'd generally advise to keep a player at a premium defensive position as long as possible, in Gomez's case, he's not going to play shortstop with Tulowitzki having that position on lockdown, so the Rockies might as well go ahead and move him to second to get him to learn the position.  Michael McKenry likewise isn't ready for the majors, though his small sample in spring training was impressive; Miguel Olivo is clearly the backup catcher for the Rockies and McKenry will get some time in Colorado Springs.

Among the other surprises is Cole Garner, whose strong spring should at least have the Rockies thinking about using him as a fifth outfielder, since Ryan Spilborghs is struggling.

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