03/03/12 7:40 PM ET
Versatility key to Wood's quest for job
By Joey Nowak / MLB.com
Wood, who has played all four infield positions in the Major Leagues, got a look at each of them in Friday's intrasquad scrimmage at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The former first-round Draft pick of the Angels hopes his ability to move around the diamond can earn him a spot with Colorado.
"My goal is to play in the present," Wood said. "I don't look at yesterday or look to tomorrow. I go in and I have a good day and work hard today and go out and play well. My goal is the same as everybody -- you go into big league camp and your goal is to make the team."
While with the Angels' farm system in 2006, Wood was ranked among the top third-base prospects in baseball. He had stints with the Angels from 2008-2011, before being designated for assignment and acquired off waivers by the Pirates last season. The Rockies signed him as a Minor League free agent this offseason.
"This clubhouse is a special clubhouse -- just walking around here with the veteran guys that accept everybody with open arms," Wood said. "If you're in A-ball, Double-A, Triple-A, on a Minor League contract or a 12-year deal, everybody treats you the same and with a level of respect."
He was drafted as a third baseman -- where he's played in 168 games -- but he has also appeared in 82 career games at shortstop, 16 at first base and three at second base. He started at third Friday before moving to shortstop, then second base and finally to first to finish the game.
"It's fun," Wood said. "It keeps you working. It's going to keep you in shape. Every day you have to take ground balls at four positions because you never know when you're going to get that call in the ninth to make a play."
On both ends, Hernandez key for Rox
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez made his presence felt from both alongside and behind the plate in the Rockies' Spring Training opener on Saturday.
Hernandez, a 13-year veteran who was acquired in the offseason to be the Rockies' primary backstop, was 2-for-2 with the team's lone RBI. The game against the D-backs ended in a 1-1 tie after 10 innings at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Hernandez came through in the clutch with a two-out single to left field in the fourth, scoring Michael Cuddyer. All spring, the catcher has been working intently on his situational hitting -- an area in which the Rockies are hoping to improve this season.
"When you're a hitter, it's about how much you concentrate -- what pitch you know you can hit, what pitch you look for," Hernandez said. "When I'm hitting, in batting practice or in a game, I'm trying to find a good rhythm and track the ball as well as I can."
Hernandez also made two snap throws from behind the plate -- one to third and one to first -- to keep D-backs baserunners in check.
"I'm trying to throw if it means something," Hernandez said. "I won't throw if I know I won't get the guy. I was keeping my eye out, and if they give me a little too much and I think I can get it, I might throw. Then you let teams know, 'He likes to throw around,' and if guys get on base, they won't get as much of a lead and you can get a better chance to turn double plays."
Hernandez caught four innings on Saturday -- two for starter Drew Pomeranz and two more for left-hander Josh Outman.
"His presence back there today -- that calming effect, and the aggression throwing the ball once to first and once to third -- makes you aware that he's back there," manager Jim Tracy said. "That's pretty much the reputation he's developed over  years in the big leagues."
Tracy likes 'life' in Pomeranz's pitches
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies viewed left-hander Drew Pomeranz's start in the club's Cactus League opener on Saturday against the D-backs as an extension of the bizarre few months he had at the end of last year. Taking all that under consideration, all parties were pleased with the rookie's performance.
"To follow up today, you saw a much better breaking ball today than you saw at any time in the month of September [last year]," manager Jim Tracy said. "He did a very nice job. Life to his pitches, his fastball. You didn't see that in September."
Pomeranz had no ordinary debut with Colorado last year, coming over after a waiting period as the "player to be named" in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade. He then underwent an emergency appendectomy before being lit up in Houston and bouncing back with a nice start against the Giants on the final day of the season.
"I was kind of thinking yesterday how games are already here, and it feels weird that you're already back in a game," Pomeranz said. "It was fun, and a lot more fun when you're out there throwing well."
Pomeranz figures to be a middle-of-the-rotation type of starter for the Rockies this year, and he performed admirably in his 2012 spring debut by allowing one hit and one walk over two innings, striking out two in a game that ended in a 1-1 tie after 10 innings.
"Everything felt good today -- fastball, curveball, changeup," the southpaw said. "That's the best my rhythm has been. I've been working on keeping my hands up during my delivery, and I tried to go out there and not work on anything -- just let what I've been practicing take over -- and it felt great."
Rogers makes efficient use of opportunity
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When Esmil Rogers said he threw just "just a couple pitches" in the Rockies' intrasquad game Friday, he really meant it.
Of the 11 pitchers who appeared in the scrimmage, few made more efficient use of their opportunity than Rogers, who faced just six hitters and unofficially threw 13 pitches (nine for strikes).
"Right now, that was my focus," Rogers said of his efficiency. "I'm trying to throw the pitches where I want to throw them, and especially try to locate my fastball. We'll see what happens."
Rogers has gone 8-9 with a 6.57 ERA in his career with Colorado. He is competing for a starting spot after bouncing back and forth between the bullpen and the rotation the past two seasons.
"The only thing I can do is what they give me the opportunity to do," Rogers said. "If they give me the opportunity, I'm gonna make the most of it and do it again."