SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies took an unusual step Sunday and presented their Abby Greer Award, which usually goes to the most valuable player of Spring Training who is a product of their player development system, to bench coach Tom Runnells.Runnells, who turns 57 on April 17, has been a member of manager Jim Tracy's staff for three-plus seasons, and managed in the Rockies' system at Tulsa in 2004 and 2005, then at Colorado Springs from 2006 through the early part of 2009. The award went to Runnells for his tireless work in organizing the drills and teaching through the spring camp. It's the first time a non-player has been given the award. The award is named for a fan who lost her life at age 6 in an accident following a game at Coors Field on Aug. 26, 2002. The trophy is a mountain-shaped piece of flagstone with an inscription honoring Abby Greer.
Tulowitzki makes the kindest cut of all
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is turning a bad hair double play."I guess it's kind of like a Mohawk/fauxhawk," Tulowitzki said. "I'm not going to necessarily going to grow out the top, but the back I'm going to try to grow out. There's no exact plan. I'm just going to see how it goes." So we could be looking at some kind of cross between a Mohawk and a mullet. However it turns out, and however bad it looks, it'll be beautiful for the children it benefits. Each year, Tulowitzki grows what he calls "Bad Hair for a Good Cause," under a Wins 4 Kids program that benefits Children's Hospital of Colorado and Special Olympics.
The program earned Tulowitzki the distinction of being the Rockies' nominee for the Roberto Clemente and Branch Rickey awards, major national awards for humanitarian efforts.In keeping connection with young fans, Tulowitzki likes to have a walk-up song -- the song that plays as he goes to the plate for his at-bats -- that can be best described as having teeny-bopper appeal. At the start of last year, he went with Katy Perry's "Firework," but after an early slump, changed to Justin Bieber's "Baby." Tulowitzki hasn't come up with a tune yet. "Everybody has been asking me that, even guys on my team," Tulowitzki said. "Justin Bieber just came out with a new song, but I can't really find a part I like too much. I know how popular he is. I'm stuck. I'll come up with something, but right now I don't have anything."
De La Rosa continues to move closer to return
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies have announced their season-opening, five-man pitching rotation, but the starter in waiting is at least as important as any of the five.Jorge De La Rosa is throwing bullpen sessions and gradually working his way back from left elbow surgery he underwent last May. The Rockies, however, will not quicken a timetable that has him back in the Majors in late May or June. "No setbacks -- I'm moving forward," said De La Rosa, who said he would throw a light bullpen session on Sunday. De La Rose is next scheduled to throw a 45-pitch "live" batting practice on Tuesday, using all his pitches, but has not been slated for Minor League game action. De La Rosa, who turns 31 on April 5, likes the much-needed experience the staff has added. Just before Spring Training, the club traded with the Orioles for Jeremy Guthrie, who turns 33 on April 8. Then there's 49-year-old Jamie Moyer, who earned a spot after being out since the middle of 2010 because of the same elbow surgery that De La Rosa had. "I was the old one before they got here," De La Rosa said. "But I still felt young." Like the rest of the baseball world, De La Rosa is marveling at the fact Moyer looks to be more than just a feel-good story, but a competitive hurler. "It's hard to believe that he's back, but I'm excited," De La Rosa said. "I'm going to try to learn from him." De La Rosa also said he is excited about the young members of the rotation -- Jhoulys Chacin, 24, Juan Nicasio, 35, and Drew Pomeranz, 23. "We've got a lot of talent to compete with anyone," De La Rosa said. "I hope when I get back to the big leagues I can help them win games. I hope our team is in a good position."
Gonzalez sits out Sunday with stomach ailment
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez was scratched from Sunday's game with the Indians because of a stomach illness.The Rockies also had right fielder Michael Cuddyer in the lineup before changing course. Cuddyer was hit on the right index and middle fingers by a pitch from the Rangers' Yu Darvish on Friday night.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.