Mark Rogers made his first appearance in a spring game on Monday, and while the results weren’t exactly pretty, the results aren’t what’s important.
Rogers, who was on a 30-pitch limit like most starters making their first spring appearances, managed to get through the 6th inning against San Francisco without any injury hiccups. That’s really what we should be focusing on, not the fact that he gave up three hits and two runs, including a homer by Pablo Sandoval that apparently landed somewhere near Flagstaff.
Rogers apparently feels the same way:
“Once I got going and got into it, my arm felt fine … That’s the important thing right now. Obviously, I wish the results were better. But, you know what? It’s a step in the right direction.”
It would’ve been unrealistic to expect good results from Rogers in his first outing. He was trying to shake off rust while trying to ease injury concerns at the same time, and the Giants batters he was facing — mostly starters — are now in their third week of spring games. The fact that he was able to get through the mental block and stop worrying about hurting himself halfway through his first inning should be encouraging.
As Adam McCalvy notes, if Rogers stays on schedule through the rest of camp, he should be capable of throwing 75 pitches — hopefully enough for a 5-inning spot start or two. The bullpen can pick up a short start here and there while Greinke is recovering, but the rest of the rotation will have to consistently pitch into the 6th or 7th for the Rogers Plan to work for any extended period of time. To anyone who thinks that sounds easy enough, I refer you to last season.
The fact that Amaury Rivas and Cody Scarpetta are no longer in the running would lead you to believe that the race to make those starts is likely down to Rogers and Wily Peralta, with Rogers pretty clearly being the top choice. If Rogers suffers a setback, though, or Peralta isn’t deemed ready to make the jump to the majors, Ron Roenicke did offer two more names — Eulogio de la Cruz and Marco Estrada.
I think I speak for everyone who follows this team when I say this — please, please stay healthy, Mark. The only good that can come from Eulogio de la Cruz making the roster is hearing Bob Uecker try to pronounce Eulogio de la Cruz.