Rox host children's hospital; Bard's comeback

March 7th, 2020

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- and his teammates walked out of the Rockies’ complex and headed to a nearby practice field, where they started signing hats, jerseys, balls and more.

One of the best annual events of Spring Training had arrived.

For the eighth consecutive spring, the Rockies hosted a group of pediatric cancer patients from Children’s Hospital Colorado, who got the chance to meet and greet their favorite players ahead of the team’s Saturday morning workout. The kids will also attend Sunday’s game vs. the Indians at Salt River Fields.

“This is a great event. This is one of our special ones. We all love this one,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “The Rockies and [vice president of community and retail operations] Jim Kellogg and [director of community affairs] Dallas Davis do a great job of hosting these kids.”

The event was started by former Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Now, it’s operated by the Rockies Wives foundation, which collects donations at charity events to help pay for the kids’ trip to Spring Training.

With no parents along, the experience is like a summer camp for these children and nurses from the hospital, only this provides them the opportunity to mingle with big league stars.

“We’re lucky and proud to be a part of it,” Black said.

Bard bounces back
Daniel Bard’s comeback attempt got off to a rocky start when the 34-year-old right-hander allowed six earned runs on four hits and two walks in one-third of an inning vs. the Rangers on Wednesday. His second appearance went much smoother.

Bard pitched a perfect sixth inning in the Rockies’ 7-1 loss to the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch on Saturday afternoon, notching a pair of strikeouts as his fastball was hitting 95-96 mph.

“He looked comfortable the other day in Surprise, he looked comfortable today. The results were obviously drastically different,” Black said. “Probably just a little more in the strike zone and a little bit maybe sharper stuff.”

Bard hasn’t pitched in MLB since 2013 and last appeared in the Minors in ’17. He signed a Minor League deal with Colorado on Feb. 22.

Worth noting
• Arenado continued his strong spring, as he hit a sixth-inning solo homer off Dodgers left-hander Scott Alexander. It was the star third baseman’s fourth home run of the Cactus League slate, and one of only two Rockies hits on the day.

• Right-hander Jon Gray pitched in an intrasquad game against Minor Leaguers at Salt River Fields on Saturday morning. He allowed one run on four hits over three innings, walking two and striking out six.

Gray allowed one run in two innings in his first Cactus League start vs. the Mariners on Monday.

• Right-hander Wes Parsons, who was reassigned to Minor League camp on Friday, will be stretched out to start in the Minors to open the season. Last year, he pitched solely in relief, making 32 appearances for the Rockies and Braves, but he’s been a starter in the past.

Parsons has allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings in two Cactus League games.

• Right-hander Jeff Hoffman and his wife, Marissa, welcomed their second son, Houstyn, on Friday. Their first son, Tytan, was born last year.

Up next
After leaving his first spring start with back spasms, left-hander Kyle Freeland returns to the mound Sunday as the Rockies host the Indians at 2:10 p.m. MT at Salt River Fields. Freeland allowed one run in two innings vs. the A’s on Feb. 27, before his back locked up while he was warming up for the third. Right-handers Ashton Goudeau, Carlos Estévez, Wade Davis and Bryan Shaw are also scheduled to pitch. Listen to the game live on Gameday Audio.