Welcome to another season of Sky Sox baseball! The 2011 campaign promises to be an exciting one and we look forward to bringing you a closer look at the happenings in Colorado Springs and beyond.
With the Rockies just a few days away from breaking camp, lets empty the notebook and recap some of the highlights from spring training.
- The surprise (to some) of the spring was catcher/infielder Jordan Pacheco. The budding star was hitting well over .400 for much of camp, finishing at .286 with one homer and 8 RBI, and so impressed the coaching staff that he was one of the final cuts of the spring, despite having never advanced past the Double-A level and playing only 21 games for the Tulsa Drillers last season. His performance has likely earned him the starting nod for the Sky Sox this season.
- The Pacheco situation was fascinating because his presence on the Rockies would have meant they would carry three catchers, a rather rare occurrence for Major League teams.
- Another strong performer from the spring who will begin the year with the Sky Sox is reliever Matt Daley. The decision was a difficult one for Rockies Manager Jim Tracey, who elected to carry a fifth starter instead of an extra reliever. Daley didn’t allow a single earned run all spring over seven appearances and will be a key member of the Sky Sox bullpen.
- The Sky Sox rotation will likely feature a mixture of established Major League veterans and up and coming players. Players with Major League service time including John Maine (Mets), Eric Stults (Dodgers), and Clayton Mortensen (Cardinals, Athletics) will anchor a rotation replete with veteran experience. Mortensen, who won 13 games last season with the Sacramento River Cats, enjoyed a great spring posting a 0.82 ERA over 11 innings.
- Former first round pick Greg Reynolds is rounding back into form after a serious shoulder injury sustained in 2009 and will also begin the season in the Sky Sox rotation.
- Potential outfielders Willy Taveras, Cole Garner and Charlie Blackmon hit .350, .364, and .314 respectively and could prove to be a potent trio for the Sox this season.
- Yesterday, the Rockies acquired third baseman Josh Fields from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. Fields is expected to provide depth at the position for the organization and is slated to be the Sky Sox opening day starter at third.