First squad cuts

March 9, 2009 | 4:16 pm | 3  

The Rockies began paring their spring roster by moving four players to minor league camp. Pitcher Esmil Rogers was optioned to Double-A Tulsa. Outfielder Chris Frey, catcher Wilin Rosario and infielder Luis Gonzalez were reassigned to minor league camp, since none of the players were on the 40-man roster and did not have to be optioned.

It’s mildly surprising that Gonzalez was among first cuts, given that he played 291 games with the Rockies from 2004-2006. But Gonzalez has returned to the organization after two seasons in Japan, the second shortened by a suspension for amphetamine use, and was unable to leave Venezuela to get to the opening of camp. In six games this spring, Gonzalez went 1-for-14 with three strikeouts.

Gonzalez can now go to minor league camp and concentrate on getting ready for the regular season at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Frey figures to return to the Sky Sox, for whom he hit .290 with 25 doubles, three homers and 42 RBI last year. He bats and throws left-handed, is a very good defensive outfielder and has been likened to Cory Sullivan.

Rosario, who turned 20 on Feb. 23, is the best catching prospect in the system. He’s expected to play at the full-season level for the first time this season, most likely at low Class A Asheville unless he forces his way to high Class A Modesto with a terrific spring.

Rogers has been projected all along to be in the 2009 Tulsa rotation as he continues his one-level-at-a-time climb that saw him pitch at Asheville in 2007 and Modesto last year. A converted shortstop, Rogers began pitching at Rookie Casper in 2006 after hitting .209 in three seasons with the Rockies team in the Dominican Summer League.

The moves leave the Rockies with 56 players in camp, including 17 non-roster players.

3 Comments »

  • TexasSteve | March 9, 2009 | 4:53 pm

    What surprise? Gonzalez looked out of shape, slow afoot, less than agile in the field, and pathetic at the plate. Quite frankly, I’m surprised he didn’t get released.

  • DeRox | March 10, 2009 | 12:14 pm

    Guys, anything to report on McKenry? He must still be in the big league camp, but it doesn’t appear that he’s received much action thus far with only 4 AB in 3 games. If they aren’t going to give him at bats, wouldn’t it behoove them to send him to the minor league camp.

    And where is he projected to start the year? Tulsa? And would you expect him to continue to catch, or begin a transition to a new position, with an obvious block with the big club?

  • Jack Etkin | March 10, 2009 | 12:28 pm

    McKenry is still in big league camp, where extra catchers are needed for bullpen sessions for the slew of pitchers. I would expect he would be sent to minor league camp soon _ the first full-squad workout for minor leaguers is Sunday.
    McKenry is scheduled to start the season at Double-A Tulsa. I don’t see him changing positions because, first, he is a good catching prospect and, second, at 5-feet-10 and 200 pounds he has an ideal body type for catcher and one that doesn’t readily lend itself to another position. As far as being blocked, these things have a way of working themselves out. And since McKenry is not ready for the big leagues, it’s not a current concern. Best case scenario is McKenry has a good year, gets promoted to Triple-A during the season and may be ready to take over for Torrealba in 2010 and spell Iannetta when Torrealba doesn’t figure to be with the Rockies.