2/22/2014 6:50 P.M. ET
Rockies to focus on all-around offensive execution
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When position players join the pitchers on Sunday for the Rockies' first full-squad workout, there will be a special emphasis on the at-bats that may not show up in traditional statistics but could lead to difference-making runs.
The ability to move a runner, keep an inning alive or push across a run shows up on the road more than at home.
The Rockies, who play in a unique atmosphere and almost always struggle for wins on the road, have had just one winning road season in their history -- 41-40 in 2009, their last playoff season. That year, they batted .235 and had a .319 on-base percentage away from Coors, but managed 340 runs.
Last season, their second straight 29-52 road finish, the Rockies hit .246 on the road, but had a .298 on-base percentage and scored 272 runs.
"We're really focusing on our execution -- our ability to cover the plate and be able to move the ball to the big part of the field when the game tells you to," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Last year, I talked about getting to the point where we're playing better team offense. That's going to be an area of focus this spring."
Logan taking steady approach to recovery
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies left-hander Boone Logan is taking a measured preparation approach in gearing up for the season after undergoing surgery to remove bone chips from his throwing elbow during the offseason.
Logan, who signed for three years and $16.5 million after pitching the last four seasons with the Yankees, threw a 30-pitch, touch-and-feel bullpen Friday, using his fastballs and changeups. But he hasn't thrown 100 percent. He'll begin a long-toss program this week to stretch the arm. It's not clear when he'll pitch in Cactus League games.
Last season, Logan went 5-2 with a 3.23 ERA in 61 games, but was in pain throughout the year. It also bothered him in 2012, but he led the American League with 80 appearances and went 7-2 with a 3.74 ERA.
"As long as I don't have any setbacks, if it keeps progressing, I'm not worried about it at all," Logan said.
Logan will need to be at full health. With the Yankees, he was used often in left-on-left matchups, but the Rockies want him available for full innings. That means he'll have to employ his changeup -- a pitch he had to be careful with when dealing with a bone spur and the chips in the elbow. He could barely rotate his arm, and he held off on offspeed pitches in warmups and just hoped they'd be there during the game.
"Now, I can prepare myself for a full inning," Logan said. "I can prepare for the seventh inning or the eighth inning, knowing that I'll have my own inning for the most part. I'm sure, too, there are situational times that I'll go in, because we have live arms at the end of the game."
Logan, 29, became familiar with Bill Geivett, the Rockies' senior vice president of Major League operations, during golf tournaments in his native San Antonio honoring Mike Coolbaugh, the late Rockies Double-A coach who was killed when hit in the neck by a line drive during a game. Logan appreciated the fact the Rockies didn't back off their free agency offer even though Logan had surgery.
"They said, 'We want you over here, we like your makeup, we like how you are as a person in the clubhouse,'" Logan said. "That meant a lot to me, and their confidence in me to have my own inning. Feeling love like that and having the opportunity to not let them down is going to be a little pressure on me, because I don't want to let anybody down. But I'm happy for the opportunity."
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said, "He hasn't had any issues, and we're encouraged where he's at."
Rosario's development to continue under Lachemann
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A smiling Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario returned to the team after missing two days to be with his wife, Genesis, and the couple's second child, a girl, Aidelys, born Tuesday.
"I brought her home, she's feeling comfortable and now I'm here, ready for work," Rosario said.
Rosario has been in the Majors since being called up from Double-A in 2011. His 52 home runs and .813 OPS since his debut make him one of the Majors' top offensive catchers, but his defense is still developing.
He'll have a change in mentorship. Jerry Weinstein, last year's catching coach, was quiet and professorial -- he recently has had a book published (The Complete Handbook of Coaching Catchers, published by Coaches Choice). Weinstein took a job as an offensive coordinator in the Minor League system. This year, Rosario and the catchers are coached by former Major League manager Rene Lachemann, who is a high-energy and high-humor teacher. Rosario believes his learning curve will be the same because the message hasn't changed.
"Believe it or not, it's the same thing," Rosario said. "They're the same behind the plate. 'Lach' is a little dynamic. You can laugh a little more. With Jerry, it's a little serious. The time that we're going to work, we're going to work. It's no joke. I miss that guy. We're pretty tight."
To deal with the wear and tear of catching, Rosario reported lighter -- in the 223-225-pound range, down from the 231-232 of last season -- and concentrated on strength and flexibility in his legs. Also, the Rockies hope to use Rosario for a few games at first base to spell Justin Morneau and keep his bat in the lineup.
"I'm not that great a player like [Todd] Helton or Morneau, but I try to serve," Rosario said. "If they need me there sometimes, I'm going to be there."