Some of the injuries were difficult to explain, such as pitcher Jhoulys Chacin's nerve issue in his chest, third baseman Chris Nelson's irregular heartbeat and infielder Jonathan Herrera's missed time because of an infection from his wrist watch.Some crippling injuries were clearly of the structural variety. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who has a history of leg muscle issues, was limited to 47 games because of scar tissue in his left groin -- a condition that required surgery. Veteran first baseman Todd Helton's season was shortened by a torn labrum in his right hip. Outfielders Michael Cuddyer and Eric Young Jr. saw their seasons end early with oblique injuries. But with the team careening toward its worst record in 20 seasons (64-98), the club's assertion that altitude was an issue were met by fans and media with skepticism, eye-rolling and accusations of excuse-making. The mantra of the Rockies, who kept the front office intact but brought in former infielder Walt Weiss as manager and made significant coaching staff changes, is to make the home field an advantage. "We are excited to begin a long-term relationship with an organization that mirrors our cultural values and desires to be the best organization in its industry," Rockies general manager and chief baseball officer Dan O'Dowd said in the club's press release. "This technology will be a tremendous asset in our efforts to further advance our performance development with all our programs and players." Part of that, Jordan said, is collecting better data on players so that there is less guesswork. After the initial testing during Spring Training, the Rockies will assess how often testing should occur, whether the Sparta equipment will be brought to Coors Field for regular use and whether the Rockies will send the equipment available to their Minor League affiliates when their seasons begin are all to be determined. Pitching arm injuries have been a bane of the club's existence over 20 seasons. A system that uses the force of a player leaping won't measure weaknesses in the vulnerable small muscles of the arm or the soft tissue in the shoulder area, but could expose an overall body weakness that could make a pitcher's movements less efficient, Jordan said. "It's not going to define who can throw 98 mph and who can hit .300, but it gives us an idea of what we can work on and what's possible," Jordan said. "We're ready to get after it and leave no stone unturned in the effort to improve our players. I'm sure we'll look at things that will work and things that won't work, but everything we do will be in the effort to get better."
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.