A collection of links from around the National League:
ESPN.com – Rockies Leadoff quandary
The Rockies led the National League in OPS in 2013 and would appear to have the pieces necessary to do it again in 2014. Their biggest problem may be the lack of an obvious leadoff batter. With former leadoff man Dexter Fowler traded in the offseason, the most likely replacements are either second baseman DJ LeMahieu or whichever player ends up winning the center field job.
Joey Votto understands that when he is paid as much as he is, people expect him to hit home runs. They aren’t quite as interested with his prolific walk totals. But despite the wishes of some critics, he doesn’t plan to change his approach and go after more RBIs at the expense of being a patient hitter.
St. Louis Post Dispatch – Garcia to be shut down 10-15 days
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jamie Garcia endured a shoulder injury last season. He underwent shoulder surgery in May, so it was troubling when he had to receive a cortisone shot in that same shoulder and will be shut down for 10-15 days. Despite the setback, Garcia is still confident that he will be able to pitch this season.
Madison Bumgarner will be the Opening Day starter for the San Francisco Giants this season, and his first outing of the spring provided encouragement that his start will be a good one. Facing the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, Bumgarner threw two scoreless innings and generally looked sharp.