In relief, Hoffman shows offseason improvement
Rockies right-hander Jeff Hoffman’s performance Monday suggested he is a quick study.
Hoffman, who debuted late last season and is competing for a rotation spot, threw a solid 1 2/3 innings with two strikeouts and three hits in the Rockies’ 7-1 victory over the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch.
Hoffman was charged with an unearned run in the fourth when right fielder Mike Tauchman dropped an Andrew Toles fly ball. He walked Cody Bellinger with MLB jersey wholesale and a base open and departed to allow reliever Scott Oberg jersey to escape the jam.
“I felt great, a lot better than expected, going out on a dreary day in the rain and stuff like that,” said Hoffman, the key acquisition from the Blue Jays in the 2015 trade that saw the Rockies give up star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki jersey. “The main focus today was executing pitches. I think I executed darn near all of them today.”
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Hoffman, 24, ranked No. 44 on the MLB.com Top 100 Prospects list, showed improvement from last year, when he gave up a .306 batting average with runners on base while going 0-4 with a 4.88 ERA in eight games (six starts).
Hoffman induced a double-play in the third, then battled with a full count against Corey Seager before inducing a fly to center. His strikeouts of Franklin Gutierrez and Joc Pederson jersey came after Yasmani Grandal’s leadoff single in the fourth. The last hit off Hoffman, Yasiel Puig’s jam-shot single, came when center fielder Noel Cuevas and second baseman Alexi Amarista jersey miscommunicated.
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“I don’t know if it’s out the window, but for me, I don’t see it happening,” Dodgers manager Roberts said of Gonzalez playing in Cactus League games before he joins Mexico’s World Baseball Classic team with cheap jerseys. “If he can continue to progress … obviously with Adrian, anything is possible. We’re open, but for me, it’s on the training staff. Once I get clearance from them, then obviously we can plug him in. But right now, I don’t see it. But if it works out, great.”
Mexico, which begins World Baseball Classic play March 9 against Italy in Guadalajara, Mexico, has a workout scheduled for March 6 and exhibition games against the Padres on March 7 and the D-backs on March 8. Gonzalez’s older brother, Edgar Gonzalez, is the manager of Mexico’s team.
“Now he’s not feeling anything and I think that for us, with that [news, he’ll] start ramping it up,” Roberts said. “But having a bat in his hand is a good thing. I think he will be ready for Chinese jerseys and the Classic.”
Roberts added that the Dodgers are not worried about Gonzalez injuring himself while with Team Mexico.
“With Adrian, he’s a different player due to his authentic MLB jerseys. He’s has a very good feel for his own body and he’s a veteran player,” the manager said. “As long as he gets the clearance medically from our guys, the performance goes on him and Team Mexico.”