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Rockies turn to prospects Alex White, Christian Friedrich amid rotation struggles

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Colorado’s starting pitchers have combined for an NL-worst 5.75 ERA, so the Rockies are calling up a pair of prospects to join the rotation.

Alex White, who was acquired from the Indians along with Drew Pomeranz in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade last season, will start tonight. Christian Friedrich, who was the 25th overall pick in the 2008 draft, will make his big-league debut tomorrow night.

White got knocked around in his first taste of the majors last season, posting a 7.01 ERA while serving up 15 homers in 51 innings, but the 23-year-old right-hander’s numbers in the minors have consistently been very impressive. He’s posted a sub-3.00 ERA at every stop, including a 2.42 ERA and 49/13 K/BB ratio with just one homer allowed in nine starts at Triple-A.

Friedrich’s minor-league numbers aren’t so pretty, as his ERA was above 5.00 both last season and in 2010, but his secondary numbers have remained strong and the 24-year-old left-hander posted a 3.00 ERA and 27/4 K/BB ratio in 30 innings at Triple-A to earn the call-up.

Zack Greinke named the Dbacks’ Opening Day starter

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21:  Pitcher Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 21, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.

Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.

Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.