Adames, Ynoa trying to squeeze way onto roster

Young infielders enjoying productive springs

Adames, Ynoa trying to squeeze way onto roster

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Switch-hitting infielders Cristhian Adames and Rafael Ynoa are receiving heavy playing time during Spring Training, and hope to be remembered when the regular season starts.

Regular infielders Nolan Arenado, Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu have a combined five Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, so there's no need for them to play much in the Cactus League. Utility man Daniel Descalso hasn't played since March 14 because of a right oblique injury, but he could be playing Minor League games as early as Wednesday.

Adames throws out Hicks at home

Adames, who made a brief debut with the Rockies last year and is coming off leading the Dominican Winter League in batting average at .353, had two hits in the Rockies' error-aided, six-run fifth inning during a 7-6 victory over the White Sox. He went 2-for-4 to raise his spring average to .343.

Ynoa, who hit .343 in 71 at-bats for the Rockies late last season, started at shortstop and singled home the Rockies' first run against White Sox starter John Danks.

With the Rockies expected to carry three catchers, there might not be room on the Opening Day roster if Descalso rebounds from the injury. However, with the Rockies playing three of their first four series on the road, there's always a chance they could go with seven relievers and four starters for the first few games. That might leave room for a switch-hitting infielder.

Adames, 23, is a shortstop by trade, but he has worked to play all infield positions. The winter season with Toros del Este allowed Adames to work on bat control and his movement. His speed and quickness have been question marks.

"I worked to hit the ball the other way, every time, and I played all three positions -- third, second, short," said Adames, who is ranked No. 19 among the Rockies' Top 30 Prospects, according to MLB.com.

"I worked in the Dominican on my running, and it's helped me with my defense." 

Ynoa also had a strong winter in the Dominican. He was hitting .293 when the Rockies, noting that he was injured to start last season at Triple-A, asked him to shut down.

After years of feeling overlooked in the Dodgers' system, Ynoa, 27, is enjoying the fact he is a viable option, either on the opening roster or during the season.

"Most of my teammates got called up, and I was frustrated -- it's tough when you see you are part of a winning team, playing every day and putting your effort in and you're still stuck in the same spot," Ynoa said. "I went to the Fall League and every year I was an everyday player. But that's life. Nothing is easy.

"I like that I have a chance. I'll keep playing hard, see what happens."

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.