First squad cuts
The Rockies began paring their spring roster by moving four players to minor league camp. Pitcherwas optioned to Double-A Tulsa. Outfielder Chris Frey, catcher 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.