I caught up with Dust Devils manager Fred Ocasio to give us the latest update from the Colorado Rockies’ extended spring training site in Tucson, Ariz.
Even though they haven’t played in any regular-season games down there, the players and coaches are all pretty eager to suit up and start playing in some games that count. For the last month, when the group isn’t running drills in camp, they’re playing exhibitions against the extended spring crew from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The D-backs — the parent club for the NWL’s Yakima Bears — are good guys but it’s getting a little old, according to Freddie.
“I’m pretty much tired of Tucson,” Ocasio said. “Day after day, it’s the same old games against the Diamondbacks.”
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One good piece of good news for Ocasio: He gets to join the Rockies’ draft day crew — including GM Dan O’Dowd and Director of Player Development Marc Gustafson — for the 2010 First-Year Player Draft beginning June 7 in Secaucus, N.J. The 50-round draft will last three days.
The Rockies own the 26th pick out of 32 teams after earning the National League Wild Card slot last season. Colorado also holds a supplemental first-round pick at No. 47, earned when Jason Marquis signed with the Washington Nationals after rejecting an arbitration offer from the Rockies.
Ocasio was invited to attend last year’s draft but had to attend to family business when his son was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. This year, he’s looking forward to seeing how the franchise is built from top-to-bottom.
“It’s probably just to explain it and see how it is,” Ocasio said. “Most of the (drafted) players will be with me and Tony (Diaz, manager for the Casper Ghosts).”