And, hey, it was twenty years ago this month that the headline would have been topical, after the similarly-named oil-tanker dumped ten million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound. This afternoon's outing was not quite as disastrous - no sea-otters were harmed, for example - but who am I, to let facts get in the way of my headline-writing?
Valdez ran onto the rocks early, surrendering a two-run homer to Todd Helton with only one Rockies hitter retired, and then allowed another run in the second inning, to make the score 3-0 for Colorado. He did finish strong, with a perfect third - still, three earned runs in three innings is probably not the note on which prospect Cesar Valdez wanted to end things. He was assigned to minor-league camp after the game, but more on that later. Makes sense to trim down the pitching staff, since there's only one split-squad game remaining (tomorrow). Plus all our rotation are now ready for regular action from there, with the return of Max Scherzer. Looking forward to that: only three weeks left until Opening Day!
Valdez was followed by Travis Blackley, who had shone for the Australians in the World Baseball Classic, allowing one run in 5.2 innings of work. Not so much back with Arizona, his control being as much an issue as the Colorado bats. Blackley allowed four walks over his three innings, but the only damage in his three innings, came in the form of another two-run homer, this one coming off the bat of former D-back, Carlos Gonzalez. Daniel Schlereth and Bobby Korecky pitched scoreless frames, though the former walked two, but another homer, this one a three-run shot in the ninth, wrecked Jon Coutlangus's afternoon.
Offensively, nothing much doing for Arizona, outside a three-run third that tied the score up. Evan Frey had a two-run triple, then came home himself on a single by Stephen Drew. James Skelton had a pair of hits, and after going 2-for-19 to start spring, has got his average up to the Uecker line. He probably still has the best shot at the 25th roster spot, despite the better showing at the plate by The Tattooed Man, Ryan Roberts, currently hitting .297 (11-for-37) in spring. Drew and Josh Whitesell each had a hit and a walk.
Finally, as noted above, there'll be eight fewer people in camp tomorrow morning, the result of multiple re-assignments. Those affected were infielders Pedro Ciriaco and Rusty Ryal, along with pitchers Jose Marte, Kyler Newby, Leyson Septimo and Clay Zavada, plus Valdez and Schlereth from this afternoon's outing. Steve Gilbert has a nice recap of Melvin's thoughts on the eight departees. Though even he couldn't find much to say about Rusty Ryal, who managed just 17 at-bats, despite both the extended spring and the departure of multiple Diamondbacks for the WBC. Still, thanks for showing up.
Okay, Community Projections for our rotation to follow very shortly. I'm then off to catch up with last night's Breaking Bad and tonight's 24.