SCOTTSDALE– With minor-league camps in full swing, pitchers starting to extend their innings in each appearance, and only one split-squad day remaining on the spring schedule, the Rockies made their initial roster cuts, sending 12 players to their minor league complex.
None of the 12 came to spring training with the idea they would make the Opening Day roster, but more to get exposure to the big-league staff, and to get a feel for the atmosphere.
Third baseman Josh Fuentes, the cousin of Nolan Arenado and the Triple-A Pacific Coast League Player of the Year in 2018, suffered a broken hamate bone early in camp. He said he expects to be ready to play when the PCL season starts but was not even able to participate in spring games with the Rockies.
Colton Welker caught the attention of camp observers, hitting .556. He, however, has not played above the Class A level, and most likely will open the season at Double-A Hartford.
With starting pitchers Ryan Castellani and Rico Garcia there is a desire to get them situated in the minor-league camp so they can work up their inning totals and be physically ready to pitch out of the rotation at the start of the regular season.
The Rockies are converting Jesus Tinoco to a reliever, and along with fellow right-handers Rayan Gonzalez and Justin Lawrence, and lefty Evan Grills the Rockies want them to get settled in for their seasons.
The moves leave the Rockies with 47 players in camp, including 14 non-roster players.
They have 12 games remaining before they break camp in Arizona, and go to Albuqeruque for a March 25 game against their Triple-A affiliate the Isotopes, and then complete their spring schedule with a March 26 game against the Twins in Fort Myers, Fla. They open the regular season March 28 against the Marlins in Miami.