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Learning curve continues for Rockies' Hoffman

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies right-handed rotation hopeful Jeff Hoffman came through a learning experience in solid shape Thursday. By Friday, after a review, he learned even more.

Hoffman pitched the fourth through sixth innings of the Rockies' 10-2 victory over Puerto Rico's World Baseball Classic team. On Friday, he said the video review of his performance -- which saw him give up a Yadier Molina home run on a curve and Francisco Lindor RBI double on a first-pitch changeup among four hits, but also saw him strike out two --- was eye-opening. And pitching coach Steve Foster found a teachable moment.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies right-handed rotation hopeful Jeff Hoffman came through a learning experience in solid shape Thursday. By Friday, after a review, he learned even more.

Hoffman pitched the fourth through sixth innings of the Rockies' 10-2 victory over Puerto Rico's World Baseball Classic team. On Friday, he said the video review of his performance -- which saw him give up a Yadier Molina home run on a curve and Francisco Lindor RBI double on a first-pitch changeup among four hits, but also saw him strike out two --- was eye-opening. And pitching coach Steve Foster found a teachable moment.

"Through the course of the game, I felt like Molina hit a good pitch and I felt like Lindor hit a good pitch," said Hoffman, on whom the Rockies insisted in the 2015 deal that sent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays. "But then going back on video, they really weren't as good as they should've been.

"Me and 'Fostie' had a conversation about making sure to be a good self-evaluator. Pitches I was making were good pitches, but they weren't excellent pitches. We needed to get there."

Interestingly, Hoffman's most visible reaction came in the fourth, when Carlos Beltran skied a changeup to the right-field wall, where Chris Denorfia made a leaping catch. Hoffman's reaction was not that he thought the pitch was poor, but that Beltran hit one of his best pitches. Video confirmed that Hoffman was right.

"It was a changeup, down below the knees, and, honestly, it's Carlos Beltran and he's a Hall of Fame-caliber hitter," Hoffman said.

Hoffman's performance followed three scoreless innings from Jon Gray. Interestingly, Puerto Rico manager Edwin Rodriguez said the talent of Gray and Hoffman helped prepare his team to face Felix Hernandez and Venezuela in the first World Baseball Classic game.

So in the grand scheme, Hoffman earned his points while learning lessons.

"It means a lot," Hoffman said. "It's a testament to putting in work and being around such a great group of pitchers and learning from them. Anytime you're mentioned in the same sentence as a guy like Felix Hernandez, it's a great honor."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Jeff Hoffman