The Colorado Rockies finally took the field in their first Spring Training game to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt Rivers Field in Scottsdale, Arizona. Their bats came alive in the fifth inning as they would plate five runs in a 11-0 victory in their first game of the Spring. Colorado pitching would give up just two hits all game to the Diamondbacks.
Colorado was up to bat first as they were the home team as Carlos Gonzalez singled on a ground-ball to center field to collect the first Rockies hit of the Spring. Troy Tulowitzki would follow-up CarGo’s at-bat with a strikeout to end the side.
Franklin Morales took the hill for the Rockies as he is looking to earn a spot in the starting rotation, if not he will be a key piece in the bullpen. He would have some struggles early on with command but that is what Spring Training is for. After getting the first out of the inning, he would walk Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra on four-straight pitches. However, Chris Owings would ground into a 4-6-3 double-play to get Morales out of the jam. Morales would finish the game with 2.0 innings pitched, 1 hit, 2 walks, and 1 strikeout.
Jumping ahead to the third-inning, Ryan Casteel (17th round selection back in the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft) would hit a two-run home run off of Arizona’s Patrick Corbin, driving in Brandon Barnes to put the Rockies up 2-0. Casteel played at High-A Modesto last season in the Rockies farm system and ended up hitting .270/.352/.526 with 22 home runs, 30 doubles, and 76 RBI’s. Corbin on the other hand would finish his afternoon with 4.0 innings pitched, 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 earned, and 2 strikeouts.
Chris Martin – who was acquired in the deal that sent Jonathan Herrera to the Boston Red Sox for he and Fraklin Morales pitched well in his lone inning of work. Martin is most likely an insurance policy for the Rockies bullpen or starting rotation if need be, as he will likely start the season in Colorado Springs.
In the fifth inning, Charlie Culberson replaced D.J. LeMahieu at second base and would double to center field plating Brandon Barnes. Culberson played outfield last season for the Rockies and has moved back to his primary position at second base. Corey Dickerson replaced CarGo in left field and in his first at-bat would double to left to score Culberson and Jason Pridie who walked, to put Colorado up 5-0.
Ryan Wheeler would collect a double as well in the fifth inning driving in a run where Colorado would end up scoring five runs to go up 7-0. Wheeler spent most of his time last season with the Colorado Spring Sky Sox and receive a couple of call-ups with the big club with injuries to Todd Helton.
Rockies key piece in the bullpen Rex Brothers would get an inning of work in the 5th inning. Brothers line would be 1.0 innings pitched, 0 hits, 0 walks, and 1 strikeout.
Heading into the 7th inning the Rockies were up 8-0 after Jackson Williams reached on a throwing error to score in Ryan Wheeler. Newly signed veteran Paul Janish would hit a rope single to left field scoring Ryan Wheeler to bring the lead to nine.
The eight inning for the Rockies would consist of two solo home runs, one from Jason Pridie and one from top-catching prospect Tom Murphy to give the Rockies the 11-0 lead and that would be the final. Pitching prospect Tyler Matzek (11th overall pick in 2009) looked like what the Rockies had expected out of him when they drafted him. He would pitch 2.0 innings of relief, giving up just one walk, one hit, and struck out three batters.