Rosario Catching Up For Rockies
DENVER—If the Rockies decide catcher Wilin Rosario should spend a few weeks in extended spring training, it will be a baseball decision based on caution rather than a medical one dictated by the need to strengthen his right knee.
Rosario's 2010 season at Double-A Tulsa ended Aug. 3 when he tore his right anterior cruciate ligament. For the first time since the injury, Rosario caught bullpen sessions during the Rockies' medical mini-camp in January.
"Everything felt normal," Rosario said. "I feel very good. I feel confident."
He said the knee feels "normal" when he hits. And when asked if he was confident about getting to where he was prior to his injury, Rosario said, "Yeah, I think I'm going to be good and all my mind is positive, (as far as) completing my dream, playing in the big leagues."
At the conclusion of the mini-camp, Rosario did running exercises and agility drills. Rockies trainer Keith Dugger said Rosario won't participate in any blocking drills until spring training but would increase his throwing distance at a Rockies mini-camp in the Dominican Republic before spring training.
Rosario, 22, was injured soon after being named Texas League player of the month last July, when he hit .314 with nine homers, 25 RBIs and just nine strikeouts in 70 at-bats. He was named to the TL postseason all-star team after hitting .285/.342/.552 with 19 homers and 52 RBIs in 270 at-bats and throwing out 41 percent of opposing basestealers.
"I'm not worried about the knee itself," Dugger said. "I'm worried about pulling that opposite leg hamstring (because of) compensation. Right now his strength is great in his legs. There's still room for improvement, but he's doing very good. We're going to be a little conservative with him even though he's shown he's progressing basically ahead of schedule."
• Righthanded reliever Jim Miller, a Rockies eighth-round pick in 2004, signed a minor league contract with Colorado. Miller, 28, was traded to the Orioles in 2007 for righthander Rodrigo Lopez and spent most of the past four years at Triple-A Norfolk, going 1-0, 4.84 in 33 games last year.
• Rockies owners Dick and Charlie Monfort headed an investment group that purchased the Rookie-level Casper franchise in the Pioneer League. The Ghosts became a Rockies affiliate in 2001.