Rockies get strong reviews from scouts

March 28, 2010 | 11:07 am  

TUCSON — Consensus of scouts in Arizona is that Colorado Rockies are hands down best team in the NL West.

“No weakness,” said one scout. “Bench has best depth of any team in the game.”

Meanwhile, synopsis of scouts on other teams in division:

– Dodgers pitching staff is a concern. Bullpen has worn out with the heavy demands of manager Joe Torre the last two years and the front-line starter Torre said he needed at the end of last season never arrived. He’s stuck with using Vicente Padilla on Opening Day.
– Giants have dominating arms on pitching staff, but defense is shaky, at best, and best player this spring, John Bowker, doesn’t fit in lineup.
– Diamondbacks, with Brandon Webb sidelined, have two front-line pitchers, starters Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson, and they better hope they get the Jackson of last year’s first-half, not the disappointment of the second half.
– Padres don’t compute. Period.

ROCKIES had an interest in right-handed pitcher Chad Gaudin last year, but he opted to sign with San Diego instead. Released by the Yankees this spring, Gaudin’s agent has called the Rockies looking for work, but team isn’t interested.

NOT ONLY did Tim Redding’s two-inning, five-run implosion on Saturday virtually knock him out of the Rockies season-opening plans, but most likely cost him a big-league job. Seattle had a scout on hand to check out Redding, and reports weren’t positive. Redding has an opt-out in his minor-league contract, but it’s only if he has a spot on an Opening Day big-league roster so he could be sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Ian Stewart is getting the attention of scouts, who say he is more aggressive at the plate this spring and using the whole outfield.

ROCKIES AND Seattle traditionally struggle to find opposition for final weekend of spring, when teams play exhibition games in a variety of venues. Ownership for the two teams has a handshake agreement that the two teams will annually match up with a spring-ending series. If a suitable stadium can’t be found to host the series, the teams can always play at Safeco Field in Seattle, which has a roof to protect from a weather cancellation.

LEFTY JORGE De La Rosa has impressed scouts with his focus and ability to throw strikes. “He’s carried over from the way he ended last year,” one scout said in reference to De La Rosa going 16-3 in the final four months of 2009. “It’s never been a question of ability. It’s been about focus and he has focus.”