One day after Jim Tracy resigned as manager the Rockies announced that hitting coach Carney Lansford and third base coach Rich Dauer will not be brought back for 2013.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that no other coaching changes are forthcoming, although whoever is hired to replace Tracy will surely want to build his own coaching staff.
Lansford replaced Don Baylor as the Rockies’ hitting coach in 2011 and the team ranked second and third among NL teams in runs during his two seasons on the job, but that’s misleading because of Coors Field’s impact. On the road the Rockies ranked 28th and 30th in scoring among MLB teams. In other words, take Rockies hitters away from altitude and they were basically the worst in baseball under Lansford.
Of course, that was the same story with the offense under Baylor as well and shows why trying to figure out how to build a consistently strong pitching staff isn’t the only challenge presented by calling Coors Field home.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.