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Colorado Rockies spring preview

Second baseman Clint Barmes hit .290 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs for Colorado in 2008.

Second baseman Clint Barmes hit .290 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs for Colorado in 2008.

LIKELY OPENING DAY STARTING LINEUP

Pos. Player No. 2008 stats

CF Ryan Spilborghs 19 .313, 6 HR, 36 RBIs

SS Troy Tulowitzki 2 .263, 8 HR, 46 RBIs

1B Todd Helton 17 .264, 7 HR, 29 RBIs

3B Garrett Atkins 27 .286, 21 HR, 99 RBIs

RF Brad Hawpe 11 .283, 25 HR, 85 RBIs

2B Clint Barmes 12 .290, 11 HR, 44 RBIs

LF Seth Smith 7 .259, 4 HR, 15 RBIs

C Chris Iannetta 20 .264, 18 HR, 65 RBIs

LIKELY STARTING ROTATION

Pitcher No. 2008 stats

RHP Aaron Cook 28 16-9, 3.96 ERA

RHP Ubaldo Jimenez 38 12-12, 3.99 ERA

RHP Jason Marquis 21 11-9, 4.53 ERA with Cubs

LHP Jorge De La Rosa 29 10-8, 4.92 ERA

RHP Jason Hirsh 48 0-0, 8.31 ERA

KEY RELIEVERS

Pitcher No. 2008 stats

RHP Huston Street 16 18 of 24 saves, 7-5 record with A’s

RHP Manual Corpas 60 4 saves, 13 attempts

RHP Taylor Buchholz 35 2.17 ERA

LHP Alan Embree 41 4.96 ERA

Rest of 40-man roster – Pitchers: 70 Samuel Deduno; 26 Jeff Francis (injured); 49 Jason Grilli; 44 Shane Lindsay; 46 Ryan Matteus; 56 Franklin Morales; 52 Juan Morillo; 58 Steven Register; 54 Greg Reynolds; 61 Esmil Rogers; 23 Greg Smith; 37 Ryan Speier. Catchers: 8 Yorvit Torrealba. Infielders: 10 Jeff Baker; 63 Hector Gomez; 47 Joe Koshansky; 64 Chris Nelson; 6 Omar Quintanilla; 9 Ian Stewart; 4 Eric Young. Outfielders: 24 Dexter Fowler; 5 Carlos Gonzalez; 14 Matt Murton

ROCKIES SCHEDULE

Games start at 1:05 p.m.

Date Opponent Site

Feb. 25 D’backs Hi Corbett

Feb. 26 White Sox Hi Corbett

Feb. 27 at Angels Tempe

Feb. 28 Dodgers Hi Corbett

March 1 at Indians Goodyear

March 2 Angels Hi Corbett

March 3 at Brewers Maryvale

March 5 Mexico Hi Corbett

March 6 at Padres Peoria

March 7 at Giants Scottsdale

March 8 San Diego Hi Corbett

March 10 Oakland Hi Corbett

March 11 at Indians Goodyear

March 12 at Angels Tempe

March 13 Giants Hi Corbett

March 14 Mariners Hi Corbett

March 15 at Dodgers Glendale

March 16 at D’backs TEP

March 17 Royals Hi Corbett

March 19 at Dodgers Glendale

March 20 Rangers Hi Corbett

March 21 at Rangers Surprise

March 22 Indians Hi Corbett

March 23 Brewers Hi Corbett

March 24 at Cubs Mesa

March 26 Dodgers Hi Corbett

March 27 at Mariners Peoria

March 28 Cubs Hi Corbett

March 29 at Athletics Phoenix

March 30 D’backs TEP

April 1 at Royals Surprise

April 2 at D’backs Chase Field

———

SPRING OUTLOOK

What’s set: Despite the season-ending shoulder injury to pitcher Jeff Francis, the Rockies have their top four starting pitchers already set. First baseman Todd Helton, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and right fielder Brad Hawpe are stable and reliable.

What’s not set: There still seems to be some uncertainty on how Helton will respond to offseason back surgery, if he can play 150-or so games, and if he can be the hitter that pitchers fear every time he steps into the batter’s box. The closer role is between recently acquired Huston Street and Manuel Corpas. Both need to rebound after poor 2007 seasons.

Top prospects

The Rockies have a young team with a bunch of promising players who have not been given a full chance to excel. Seth Smith has been mostly a pinch-hitter in his tenure, but has been placed in left field where Matt Holliday provided plenty of power before being traded.

Quotable

“I think they were disappointed and humbled. We came up short as a group collectively. It is not so much they care what people think, but they want to show the industry and ourselves, the National League, that this was a good team that just had a bad year.” – Colorado manager Clint Hurdle, on going 74-88 after being in the World Series the previous season.

The bottom line

The Rockies have stable arms and a promising offense. There’s not much margin for error, however, which explains why Hurdle is talking about execution, execution, execution throughout spring drills.

———

FANTASY NOTES

• Third baseman/first baseman Garrett Atkins and outfielder Brad Hawpe are listed in most top 100 fantasy baseball rankings.

• Young outfielders Ryan Spilborghs and Seth Smith will be worth looking at in some leagues.

• Two other young outfielders – Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler – likely will have to wait for their chance to start.

• Not that people will be rushing to draft the Rockies’ fifth starter, but Hirsh will be challenged by Greg Smith, Franklin Morales, Glendon Rusch, Josh Fogg and Greg Reynolds. Smith is coming off elbow surgery.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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