Just coming across the Twittersphere from Troy Renck is that the Rockies released Casey Blake (Tweet is here). This is sort of a shocker as Blake hit a deep home run on Sunday and seemingly was going to make a case to be on the Rockies squad that breaks camp in about a week. Apparently the spring play of guys like Chris Nelson and Jordan Pacheco was enough to give Dan O’Dowd and Jim Tracy enough confidence that they didn’t want to pick up the $2 million price tag that Blake carried.
That salary and Blake’s injury history is a scary proposition. The fact that Blake has been hurt for a chunk of spring doesn’t leave many with enough confidence that he can play 100 games in 2012 much less 130 or 140. I am not sold that the plan for Blake in 2012 was to play in that many games because I think the team wants Arenado to start his big league career, but Blake cannot break camp with the team and then end up on the 15-day disabled list before April is over. The Rockies used to have a team full of guys with options that allowed them the flexibility to move guys back and forth between Denver and the minor leagues but a lot of those options have run out, including those on Nelson. If the Rockies option Nelson to the minor leagues he has to clear waivers first and they must believe he would not clear waivers.
The Rockies need to be healthy this year and carrying an aging veteran with an injury history is not something the team wanted to pursue.
At the start of Spring Training the third base job seemingly was either Blake’s or super prospect Nolan Arenado’s job to take, but just a few days ago the Rockies made a few roster moves and included in those moves was Arenado being reassigned to minor league camp.
Nelson has been getting quite a few starts at third base and with Pacheco hitting over .400 this spring the Rockies figure that the two of them can fill the position until Arenado is ready to be promoted.
Maybe the team looks for another veteran to sign late that can play the position occasionally but it appears Nelson and Pacheco each are a lock to make the 25-man roster on Opening Day.