2/27/2013 10:03 P.M. ET
Rockies trot out glimpse of Opening Day lineup
By Owen Perkins / Special to MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- When the Rockies defeated the Padres, 6-3, on Wednesday, the fans in the stands got a good taste of what April baseball is likely to look like, as seven of the club's eight starting position players will likely wind up in the Opening Day lineup.
Ben Paulson started in right for regular Michael Cuddyer, and Todd Helton was missing, but Jordan Pacheco started at first, where he played 43 of his 132 games in 2012. Helton isn't expected to make his Cactus League debut until this weekend or thereabouts.
"It kind of just worked out that way today," manager Walt Weiss said of Wednesday's resemblance to an Opening Day lineup. "A bunch of them, it was their time to play. Typically you don't do that a lot on the road in Spring Training, but at this point in the spring, early on, it just happened to fall on their day, so we ran those guys out there."
The lineup featured the return of catcher Wilin Rosario, who hadn't played since Saturday's Cactus League opener. He came back with a bang, going 3-for-3 with a double.
Weiss also had shortstop Troy Tulowitzki back in the lineup. Tulowitzki has played every other day this spring as he works back from groin surgery, and he is showing his old defensive flair, turning a tough double play on an in-between hop and then making a quick heads-up play in the third inning to catch a lead runner at third, potentially saving a run in a close game.
"That's certainly an instinctive play," Weiss said, noting Tulowitzki's desire to get back to playing all aspects of his game without having to think about his injury. "He had his mind made up before the ball got to him that that's where the ball was going. He flipped his feet and got the throw off, and a nice throw. So far, so good, Tulo."
Weiss even had the luxury of pulling Eric Young Jr. off the bench in the eighth inning, watching him succeed with a bunt single and strengthen his case for ample time in the lineup.
"You got to find ways to get him at-bats," Weiss said. "He's a game-changer.
"It gives you a lot of options," Weiss said of the depth he's seeing. "Makes it tougher for me to make a bad move."
Pomeranz keeps Padres grounded
PEORIA, Ariz. -- If the Rockies are serious about their mantra to pitchers about getting ground balls, then Drew Pomeranz's pitching line in Wednesday's 6-3 win over the Padres had to make the club take notice.
Pomeranz pitched two innings and gave up one unearned run on two hits. More importantly, six of his six outs came from ground balls.
"We're just trying to keep the ball down," Pomeranz said. "We're all trying to get ground balls. That's one of our big mottos this year, is ground balls. If you keep the ball down, things are going to happen the way you want them to. Let them keep hitting ground balls, that's fine."
The only run scored because of Pomeranz's throwing error on a Will Venable sacrifice bunt. Pomeranz fielded it cleanly, then threw a grounder to first baseman Jordan Pacheco.
"I don't know what I was doing, I just rolled it to him," Pomeranz said. "I guess the Rockies are about ground balls."
The error notwithstanding, Pomeranz felt better in that inning -- his second -- as he began to find his rhythm.
"I just want to keep doing this progression towards the right place," Pomeranz said. "I feel like even though I may be slowly progressing, at least there is a progression towards what I'm looking for."
Chatwood's moxie catches Weiss' eye
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood had a mixed bag in his second appearance during Wednesday's 6-3 win over the Padres, pitching three efficient innings and allowing his first two runs of the spring while throwing 48 pitches, 31 for strikes.
It may have sounded like faint praise, but given his five hits and a walk, manager Walt Weiss' observation about his stranding three runners in scoring position highlighted the right-hander's ability to adjust on the fly.
"He did good damage control," Weiss said. "He was up a little bit at times, but he's a guy that's got enough stuff that he doesn't have to be perfect."
Chatwood is battling for a spot in the rotation, as he was during the spring of 2012. He made the Rockies' Opening Day roster as a reliever and shuttled up and down between the Rockies and the Minors before closing the season in Colorado's rotation. He made 19 appearances (12 starts) in the Majors and 13 starts in the Minors. If he doesn't crack the starting rotation, Weiss will give him strong consideration as a long reliever.
"I felt the way I threw the ball at the end of the year definitely helped me out, confidence-wise," Chatwood said. "And just rolling it in so far in Spring Training, that's really what I've been working on."
In two appearances, Chatwood has thrown five innings and yielded two runs on seven hits and two walks. Chatwood rejects the notion that results don't matter this early in the Cactus League -- he earned the victory on Wednesday after all -- and he was careful to study the "crooked with the straights" from his second outing.
"I felt good," Chatwood said. "I felt like I commanded the zone really well. I could have finished off some guys in 0-2 counts a little earlier. Threw a little too many pitches there, but overall I felt good about it."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.