The Rockies entered play Wednesday as one of the Cactus League's worst teams, dragging a 1-5 record and a five-game losing streak. Then they swept a split squad doubleheader against the Cubs and Rangers, so perhaps they've righted the ship.
Today they'll face veteran right hander Kyle Lohse (0.00 ERA this spring, 3.35/4.08 ERA/FIP in 2013) in his second start of the spring. Lohse was perfect against the Dodgers on Saturday, retiring six batters in order without a hit, walk or strikeout.
March 1 was Lohse's earliest spring training debut since 2009, when he was a member of the Cardinals. He only made one official Cactus League start a year ago after signing late in the spring. He's probably scheduled for around three innings or 50 pitches today, whichever comes first.
Lohse did not face the Rockies in 2013, and has only seen them eleven times in his 13 MLB seasons. Three current Rockies have faced him ten times or more:
He'll face old friend Jordan Lyles (4.50 ERA this spring, 5.59/4.57 ERA/FIP in 2013) in the second spring start of his first year with the Rockies. Lyles is still only 23 but had already pitched three MLB seasons as a member of the Astros before joining the Rockies in the Dexter Fowler trade in December. He faced the Reds on Saturday and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits over two innings.
Lyles was the #38 overall pick in the 2008 draft and made his MLB debut at age 20 but has struggled in the big leagues, posting a 5.35 ERA in 72 career appearances. His 377 career MLB innings are the fourth most among active pitchers with ERAs over 5.30:
He throws a low-90's fastball with a curve, slider and changeup.
Lyles beat the Brewers in interleague play a year ago, holding them to a single run on seven hits over seven innings on June 18 in a 10-1 Astros win. Five current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:
Mike Vassallo has today's lineup:
In addition to Lohse, Michael Blazek, Will Smith and Wei-Chung Wang are scheduled to pitch today.
It's another picture postcard weather day in Phoenix. Expect a game time temperature in the upper 70's to climb into the 80's as the day goes along with light winds.