Friedrich invited to first big-league spring training

January 22, 2010 | 5:33 pm | 6  

Left-hander Christian Friedrich, coming off a productive 2009 season split between the Rockies two Class A affiliates, is among six prospects not on the 40-man roster who have been invited to big-league spring training for the first time.

The group also includes relievers Craig Baker, Andrew Johnston and left-hander Matt Reynolds, third baseman Darin Holcomb and catcher Jordan Pacheco in addition to Friedrich. The 22-year Friedrich, the 25th player taken overall in the 2008 draft, went a combined 6-5 with a 2.41 ERA in 22 starts for low Class A Asheville and high Class A Modesto in 2009 with 43 walks, 159 strikeouts and 94 hits allowed in 119 2/3 innings.

In November the Rockies put five players on the big-league roster for the first time, guaranteeing them of invitations to major-league camp — pitchers Juan Nicasio, Alberto Albuquerque, Chaz Roe, Edgmer Escalona and catcher Mike McKenry, who previously has been to big league camp since catchers are needed, given the abundance of pitchers.

Other homegrown non-roster minor leaguers under consideration for an invitation to major league camp are outfielders Chris Frey and Charlie Blackmon and pitchers Andrew Graham and Keith Weiser. Frey previously has been to big-league spring training.

The likes of catcher Wilin Rosario, shortstop Hector Gomez, outfielder Matt Miller, catcher Paul Phillips and infielder Omar Quintanilla will not be newcomers this year at big-league camp. And, of course, neither will catcher Paul Lo Duca and outfielder Jay Payton, both of whom have agreed to minor league deals.


  • Greg Stanwood | January 22, 2010 | 7:39 pm


    Do you have a complete list of NRIs on hand you can post?

  • Clint | January 23, 2010 | 1:50 pm

    Whatever happened to the Vandy pitcher Weathers(?). I heard he had Tommy John and nothing since.

  • fred | January 23, 2010 | 2:24 pm

    Yeah and how about the kid Weatherford?

  • David Martin | January 23, 2010 | 5:19 pm

    I was fortunate enough to go to RockiesFest today at Coors Field and Casey Weathers was there signing autographs and answering questions. He said that his rehab is going well and that he has started throwing. He is hoping to be right there with everyone else at the start of minor league spring training and hopes to start the season at Double-A, 100%.

  • Rich M | January 25, 2010 | 5:19 pm

    Although they are both still in the low minors, Friedrich and Matzek give the Rockies two potentially top of the rotation lefty starting pitchers. With good health and just a little luck, they could be in Rockies starting rotation by 2011 and 2012, respectively.

  • BigFan | January 26, 2010 | 7:54 pm

    Glad to see Charlie Blackmon getting some consideration…the kid is developing rapidly!