Iglesias eager to build winning culture in Colorado

March 18th, 2022

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- New Rockies shortstop José Iglesias brought the taste of winning he experienced late last season to a new, hungry team.

After 114 games going nowhere with a fourth-place Angels team and being released on Sept. 3, Iglesias joined the Red Sox and helped them to the postseason by solidifying second base and batting .356 with a .914 OPS in 23 games. Because he joined the organization after Sept. 1, he was ineligible for the postseason.

The experience of what Iglesias called “winning culture” under manager Alex Cora established his goals for himself and the Rockies in ’22.

“Each individual has got to be better, starting with me,” said Iglesias, who signed a one-year contract worth $5 million. “I feel like this group is very easy to talk to. That’s a great starting point. There’s a lot of talent around here, young talent -- coming up in the Minor Leagues, as well.”

With Trevor Story leaving via free agency, the 32-year-old Iglesias’ main responsibility will be to provide dependable defense. He’ll hit likely in the lower part of the order.

“He’s been a very solid Major League player, especially on defense, and offense has been at time sneaky good and sneaky productive,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “This guy knows how to play. He’s got great instincts. He plays with joy.

“We’re right up there amongst the league leaders in ground-ball rate, so we need defense. We’ve had that over the years here. That’s been a big part of our success when we’ve played well.”

Quickly out of the Blach
Non-roster lefty starter Ty Blach struck out four in two spotless innings in the Rockies’ 5-3 victory over the D-backs in the Cactus League opener at Salt River Fields on Thursday afternoon at Talking Stick.

Having arrived for Minor League camp and having pitched in an intrasquad game on Sunday, Blach showed sharpness with all his pitches.

“That definitely gave me a little bit of an advantage,” Blach said. “I think that's kind of why they are turning the ball over to some of us early [in camp] while these other guys get built up. It gives us a great opportunity to show where we're at and show what we've got.”

Blach is proving healthy after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020 and being limited to 22 Minor League rehab innings last year with the Orioles.

The game featured home runs from utility man Bret Boswell and catcher Willie MacIver, the Rockies’ No. 25 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. For both, Thursday was a fresh start.

Boswell, who has had some solid Spring Training performances in the infield and outfield in recent years, sustained a severe ankle injury early last year, missed the entire season and lost his spot on the Major League roster. MacIver was chosen to the SiriusXM Futures Game during All-Star Weekend at Coors Field last summer while at Double-A Hartford but slumped during the second half of the season.

A face-to-face mea culpa
On April 22, 2018, Rockies right-hander Germán Márquez had a 96 mph fastball slip and hit Kris Bryant in the helmet. Bryant, then with the Cubs, left that game.

“I called him after the game,” Márquez said. “I’m going to apologize again.”