Rockies' young hurlers impress early in camp

Rockies' young hurlers impress early in camp

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies pitching coaches decided not to fill the heads of their pitching prospects with strategy and advice for intrasquad games on Monday and Tuesday. Instead, they took notes and enjoyed what they were writing.

On Tuesday, radar readings were enough to draw smiles, with several prospects consistently throwing in the mid-90s. These included righty German Marquez, who came in a trade from theRays after solid Class A numbers last year; righty Jeff Hoffman, who arrived in the Troy Tulowitzki trade with the Blue Jays; lefty 2014 first-round pick Kyle Freeland; righty Antonio Senzatela; and lefty reliever Sam Moll.

Hoffman displayed lively breaking pitches, so much that his catchers had problems handling them.

Spring Training: Tickets | Schedule | More

"In my 11 years in this organization, this is the best collection of arms I've seen," said Doug Linton, the Rockies' Minor League pitching coordinator. "We haven't even touched [the younger prospects] who are going to be in [Class A] Modesto."

On Monday, lefty Harrison Musgrave ranged between 88-92 mph with strike-zone presence, and righty reliever Carlos Estevez topped out at 96 -- after reaching 97 and 98 at times last year at Modesto and Double-A New Britain.

Worth noting:

• Catcher Tom Murphy, battling to back up Nick Hundley on the Major League roster, homered the opposite way to right field off Marquez during the intrasquad game on Tuesday.

It was also a big day for shortstop candidate Trevor Story, who had an RBI double and an RBI single, plus a strong defensive play as he ranged to the middle, spun and made an accurate throw.

Third-base prospect Ryan McMahon turned in a diving stab of a Rafael Ynoa line drive. But when McMahon was unnecessarily fancy and bounced a throw for an error, catching and defensive positioning coach Rene Lachemann yelled, "Quit trying to be Clete Boyer." Lachemann is in his 53rd consecutive Major League Spring Training as a player, coach or manager.

Top Prospects: McMahon, COL

• Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said the club has not heard from Major League Baseball on the timetable for its decision on a possible suspension of Jose Reyes regarding an alleged incident of domestic violence. Reyes was arrested on Oct. 31 in Maui, Hawaii, and has a trial date scheduled for April 4 -- Opening Day.

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman became the first player to be penalized under MLB's new Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy with Tuesday's announcement that he has been suspended for 30 regular-season games.

• Right-hander David Hale has been out of action with a right hamstring strain, and is expected to miss a few days. Hale is competing for a starting-rotation spot, but could fit in the bullpen. Outfielder Jordan Patterson has also been out, recovering from knee surgery he underwent before reporting to camp.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.