Notes: Estévez progresses; Gomber; Welker

March 31st, 2021

Rockies right-handed reliever emerged from research and development for a mixed inning in Colorado's 2-1 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday afternoon in the Cactus League finale at Salt River Fields.

Estévez, who struggled last season after being hit on the pitching hand by a line drive in August, gave up a run on one hit with two walks -- one on four pitches, the other after getting ahead in the count, 1-2. He finished the fourth frame with a called third strike on Adam Eaton, then skipped from the mound as if to acknowledge progress, following a spring with a 12.38 ERA in eight appearances.

A few days ago, manager Bud Black said Estévez was kept away from game action to hone “some strategic things that we think will help him this season that has maybe differed a little bit from how we pitched in the past.“

While the Cactus League numbers were disappointing, in a sense it represents an honor for Estévez to let him make the changes and not hang his status on those statistics.

“You rely on the person, you rely on some history,” Black said. “It might not all come together in a Spring Training, it might take a little bit of time during the regular season to manifest itself.”

The weather report tells the story

Lefty Austin Gomber, acquired from the Cardinals in the Nolan Arenado trade, pitched three scoreless innings in his start against the White Sox.

Gomber, who is slated to start Sunday’s finale of a four-game season-opening series against the defending World Series champion Dodgers, worked under much better circumstances on Tuesday than in his previous start, when he gave up four home runs against the Angels. The wind report on the box score said “5 mph. Varies.” On that day, when seven total homers were hit, the gusts occurred with the ball in the air.

Outside of the five runs scored off him in 5 1/3 innings against the Angels, Gomber gave up just two earned runs in 14 1/3 innings over six spring appearances. His totals also include 19 strikeouts and two walks -- the type of pitching that can keep the team in games if conditions favor the home run, which are common at Coors Field.

Wednesday workout day

Feed the Rockies Workout Day at Coors Field will be held on Wednesday at 2 p.m. MT. Proceeds from sales of $5 tickets (2,000 were made available) will go to the Colorado Rockies Foundation to benefit AMP THE CAUSE and The Denver Rescue Mission.

Welker honored

Corner infielder Colton Welker, ranked as Colorado's No. 11 prospect by MLB Pipeline, received the Abby Greer Award as the Rockies' Spring Training Most Valuable Player. Welker, 23, batted .362 with two home runs and 12 RBIs, and made a serious bid to break with the big club. Welker, a fourth-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, will begin the season at the alternate training site.