Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Butler works three innings on night of prospects

Righty becomes first pitcher to reach mark this spring at Rockies camp

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs top pitching prospect Archie Bradley certainly made an impression on his team -- as well as the rival Rockies -- on Monday night.

Bradley struck out six, including five projected regulars, in three innings of the D-backs' 5-0 victory at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in front of 7,566.

The Rockies also used one of their top pitching prospects, righty Eddie Butler, who became the first Colorado pitcher this spring to work beyond two innings. Butler was scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings before yielding two runs on a walk and a double by Mike Jacobs. In total, Butler gave up two runs on one hit and two walks.

Bradley, who was picked seventh overall in the 2011 Draft and made it to Double-A Montgomery last year, was making his first career Cactus League start. He saw just one inning last year. This one was memorable. He twice caught Rockies leadoff man Drew Stubbs looking at strikes, and also had strikeouts of Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado and starting pitcher Christian Friedrich.

The last came with the bases loaded in the second, after Bradley walked Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu and gave up his lone hit to Wilin Rosario.

"I had a lot of fun out there," Bradley said. "It was fun to finally face someone without a Diamondbacks jersey on. It felt really good to be on this side, in big league camp. Obviously, you couldn't ask for a better debut. I got the adrenaline going, I got to compete and it felt good."

Friedrich pitched for the Rockies in 2012, but a lingering back injury limited him to four Triple-A appearances last year. In his return to the mound, Friedrich gave up one run, on Mark Trumbo's first-inning RBI single, and three hits, with three strikeouts and two walks. One out from reaching his scheduled two innings, Friedrich was removed because of a high pitch count.

"I said beforehand, no matter what happens, it's going to be a lot of fun," Friedrich said. "It just felt good to see pitches go where I wanted sometimes, seeing a nice flip out of the curveball when it was in the zone. I'm happy to be back out there."

Now that he has cleared the hurdle of game competition, Friedrich can concentrate on competing for a rotation spot. The Rockies have opened competition for a spot held by righty Juan Nicasio, and righty Jhoulys Chacin could miss some early starts because the club doesn't want to rush his recovery from a shoulder strain.

Butler walked the first hitter he faced in the fifth, then was smooth until he walked Shelley Duncan to open the seventh. Jacobs doubled Duncan home and later scored on a sacrifice fly.

The Rockies were held to three hits, with one coming from shortstop Rosell Herrera, last year's South Atlantic League batting champion at Class A Asheville. 

It was a big day for Rockies prospects on the mound. Butler, who was a supplemental first-round pick in 2012, compiled a 1.80 ERA while pitching at three levels last year, topping out at Double-A Tulsa. Righty Jon Gray, last year's top Draft pick and third overall, threw two scoreless innings in the Rockies' 8-1 loss to the Mariners in Monday's earlier split-squad game.

Up next: Hoping to fight off multiple challengers for his rotation spot, Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio will make his spring debut against the Giants at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Tuesday at 1:10 p.m. MT in an exclusive audio webcast on Also, veteran closer LaTroy Hawkins is set to make his spring debut. Hawkins was a setup man for the 2007 team that went to the World Series and is still going strong at 41.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.
Read More: Colorado Rockies, Eddie Butler, Christian Friedrich