Today’s was the kind of game that Spring Training was made for, an almost completely perfect ass-whoopin’ by the Rockies. Sans Tulo and Cargo, the Rockies put up a 13 spot on the Cubs, who were themselves goose-egged. That the Cubs’ lineup featured mostly regulars should be of no concern because, like, Spring Training. Well, let me re-phrase: while there are reasons to be concerned about the Cubs’ lineup, this singular game doesn’t really affect them.
Similarly, the huge run total by the Rockies doesn’t really worry me either.
- Travis Wood started and gave up five of those 13 runs. Four of them came in his third inning of work after recording two outs, at which point Junior Lake lost a ball in the sun in center field, and the wheels came off. Obviously Wood is still responsible for keeping things in check, but that’s a bit flukey to entirely pin on him.
- Six of the remaining runs were scored on Hector Rondon, who was interestingly being tasked with going multiple innings in this one. Is he being looked at as a long-man? He was a starter throughout his entire minor league career, but that was two serious elbow injuries ago. I doubt the Cubs are considering converting him back to starting at this point, but it’ll be interesting to see how he’s used going forward. Given the multiple inning thing, and the Spring Training thing, I don’t know that today’s struggles will knock Rondon back in the bullpen competition. He’s not guaranteed a spot, given the superlative depth right now, but he’s one of the favorites for a middle relief gig.
- The final two runs came off of Chang-Yong Lim, who is trying to win a bullpen spot. He walked a guy and gave up a homer to Ryan Wheeler before striking out a couple. Lim has the stuff to be a big league reliever, but, once again, depth. His contract situation is very unique (so much so that I read reports out of Korea that his agent was still working out the finer points with the Cubs as recently as a couple months ago – he was signed over a year ago), but I believe the Cubs have minor league control over him. Which is to say, I believe the Cubs can send him to AAA Iowa. If so, they probably will.
- The best pitching performance of the day came from Dominican Winter League Pitcher of the Year Carlos Pimentel, who threw two scoreless frames, striking out two and walking one. At this point, Pimentel is likely battling for a spot in the AAA rotation.
- On the offensive side, Darwin Barney had a single and a walk, which made him the star of the game. Seriously.
- Albert Almora singled in a late-game at bat, and Brett Jackson walked. Given the other performances, these are things worth noting. Seriously.