Today’s weather here in Colorado Springs is nothing short of fantastic! The thermometer currently reads 81 degrees and with a slight breeze out to left field the conditions couldn’t be better for baseball. The Colorado Springs Convention & Visitor’s Bureau must be smiling and hoping that weather like this will come around often this summer. For the Sky Sox, it currently makes great weather for some early work. Veteran infielders Kenny Perez and Mark Bellhorn are out early today with skipper Tom Runnells working on their swings as they hit off a tee.
As the Sky Sox get their early work in this afternoon, here’s a look at Runnell’s lineup for tonight’s 6:05 PM game against the Omaha Royals.
Eric Young Jr. – 2B
Mike McCoy – 3B
Carlos Gonzalez – CF
Matt Miller – LF
Dan Ortmeier – RF
Kenny Perez – DH
Mark Bellhorn – 1B
Sal Fasano – C
Jonathan Herrera – SS
Jason Hirsh – SP
The big news today is the return of Carlos Gonzalez to the lineup after the center fielder missed the past three games with a minor hamstring injury. Gonzalez has been the team’s best offensive player thus far this season (after Matt Murton was called up by the Rockies) and currently leads the team in homers (5), RBIs (40), Slugging (.629) and triples (6). In his absense, the Sox did go 2-1 but Gonzalez’s dynamic abilities clearly make the Sky Sox a much more dangerous team when he’s in the lineup.
In other developments today, the Rockies purchased the contract of Sky Sox reliever Joel Peralta to take the place of Matt Daley who was very unforutnately hurt in his outing yesterday. To make room for Peralta on the 40-man roster, the Rockies designated for assignment Sky Sox closer Steven Register. Register will be on waivers for the next 72 hours and therefore exposed to any other Major League team. While he is on waivers, Register will be unavailable to play for the Sox. To take the place of Register, the Rockies promoted reliever Ryan Mattheus from Double-A Tulsa.
Today’s pitching matchup pits Sox right-hander Jason Hirsh (3-2, 5.27) versus the O-Royals’ lefty Heath Phillips (1-4, 8.72). Hirsh is coming off his roughest outing of the season when he gave up eight runs on 11 hits over a season-low 4.1 innings against a hot-hitting Iowa on May 13. That outing came after three very solid games (two starts) for Hirsh in which tossed at least 6.0 innings and gave up two runs or less in each appearance.