Ynoa comes out swinging in Rox intrasquad action

Ynoa comes out swinging in Rox intrasquad action

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Switch-hitting utility man Rafael Ynoa homered and made a diving play at third base in Tuesday's Rockies intrasquad game. The performance continued a habit of capitalizing on chances since joining the team last year.

Ynoa, 27, was in the Dodgers' system from 2006-13 without a callup. After joining the Rockies last winter and producing at Triple-A Colorado Springs (.297, .356 OBP), Ynoa parlayed his Major League debut into a .343 average with six doubles and a triple in 19 games.

After last season, Ynoa hit .293 with two homers, eight doubles and a triple in 40 games for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League before the Rockies had him stop playing to preserve his health for the regular season. Ynoa said watching was difficult.

"I'm from that town," he said. "[Fans] would see me walking and were like, 'Why are you not playing?' My dad kept going to the games. I couldn't. I'd just watch on TV. I wanted to go, but it was hard to watch my teammates."

The signing of Daniel Descalso, who has extensive experience in the Majors at shortstop, puts Ynoa -- who played well defensively at third when Nolan Arenado wasn't well at the end of the season -- in a tough spot in competition for an Opening Day roster position.

"I'm confident in myself," Ynoa said. "If I go to Triple-A or the big leagues, my thing is to do my job. I don't want to go to Triple-A, but even if I do, my job is to do my best and help the team."

More notes from Rockies camp:

•  In the intrasquad game, starting left-handed pitchers Tyler Matzek and Chris Rusin (a late pickup from the Cubs last season) each threw two smooth innings. Matzek struck out two, Rusin one.

•  Bullpen mainstays Boone Logan and Adam Ottavino displayed sharp sliders.

•  Non-roster righty bullpen hopeful Justin Miller, who saw eight games with the Tigers last year but posted a 1.81 ERA in 38 Triple-A games, fanned two.

•  Righty Jairo Diaz, acquired from the Angels for infielder Josh Rutledge, worked speedy Drew Stubbs into an inning-ending double play.

•  Catcher Michael McKenry's bases-loaded double off non-roster lefty John Lannan drove in two runs.

•  Wilin Rosario, who played first base, had an RBI single off Diaz in an inning that began with a runner at second so the Rockies could practice situational play.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.