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News » Colorado Rockies Notes, Quotes 2008-12-30

Colorado Rockies Notes, Quotes 2008-12-30

Colorado Rockies Notes, Quotes 2008-12-30
--OF Carlos Gonzalez returned to winter ball in Venezuela and hit two homers and drove in five runs Dec. 18 for Zulia in his first game since Nov. 21. Gonzalez had been suffering from Dengue fever, a virus that causes headaches, fever, exhaustion, severe joint and muscle pain and swollen glands.

After his highly successful return, Gonzalez went hitless in 11 at-bats in his next three games, and he was 3-for-21 in six games since being sidelined.

--Gonzalez, acquired from Oakland in the November deal that sent LF Matt Holliday to the A's, is one of 21 prospects the Rockies have invited to their Winter Development Program. Held every other year at Coors Field, the program will run from Jan. 6-23.

In addition to Gonzalez, those who will participate in the program include LHPs Franklin Morales and Christian Friedrich (the Rockies' first-round pick in 2008), RHPs Jhoulys Chacin (considered the organization's top pitching prospect), 2B Chris Nelson, 2B/OF Eric Young Jr., OF Charlie Blackmon and catchers Mike McKenry and Wilin Rosario.

--LHP Alan Embree signed a $2.25 million contract that could be worth more than $3 million in the unlikely event he ends up closing. RHPs Huston Street and Manuel Corpas will vie for that role in spring training, and Embree, who turns 39 next month, only has 25 career saves. However, Embree's contract includes performance bonuses totaling $800,000 -- $200,000 each for 40, 45, 50 and 55 games finished. Embree will receive a $2 million salary in 2009 with a $250,000 buyout on a $3 million club option for 2010. The contract also stipulates that if the option is exercised, Embree may void it and take the buyout. The Rockies have also agreed not to offer Embree salary arbitration at the end of either season if he earns Type A free agent status. That way, a club that signs Embree wouldn't lose a draft pick to the Rockies.

--The Rockies finalized their minor league field staff for next season. Former closer Bryan Harvey, who made his coaching debut as the low Class A Asheville pitching coach in 2007 but had to take 2008 off to help care for his special-needs daughter, will be the Class AA Tulsa pitching coach.

Darryl Scott, who pitched in the Rockies organization for Class AAA Colorado Springs in 1995 and part of 2000, his final season as a player, will be the pitching coach at short-season Tri-City. Former major league infielder Scott Fletcher joins the organization as the roving infield coordinator.

The latter job had been held by Rich Dauer, who will be the Rockies' third base coach. Harvey replaces Bo McLaughlin, the Tulsa pitching coach the past six seasons who will be the roving pitching coordinator. Jim Wright, who held that job for six seasons, has become the Rockies' bullpen coach.

Additionally, pitching coach Doug Linton moves up from Asheville to high Class A Modesto, where pitching coach Butch Hughes retired. And Dave Schuler, who made his debut in the organization last year as the Tri-City pitching coach, will work in that role at Asheville.

--OF Ryan Spilborghs was 8-for-44 (.182) with 13 strikeouts, one homer and seven RBIs in his first 12 games for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League.

--C Yorvit Torrealba was hitting .295 with five homers and 23 RBIs through 43 games for Margarita in his native Venezuela. Torrealba's season for the Rockies ended Aug. 25, and he underwent surgery to repair a torn left meniscus. In winter ball, Torrealba has been playing first base or serving as the DH, which he does every winter and is not in response to the condition of his knee, which is fine.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0 -- Hits by Seth Smith against left-handed pitchers in 2008. The left-handed-hitting Smith was 0-for-11 against them, with all 28 of his hits coming in 97 at-bats against right-handers.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's like nothing I've seen in my lifetime, and I'm 49 years old. Anybody who thinks that what's happening in the world doesn't affect our industry is foolish." -- General manager Dan O'Dowd, on the impact of the declining economy on baseball.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: December 30, 2008

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