• The Rockies are beginning to look like they might have decent rotation depth — perhaps even enough to trade right-hander Aaron Cook once he is healthy.
Start with right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, lefty Jorge De La Rosa and righties Jason Hammel and Jhoulys Chacin — a formidable front four.
Right-hander Esmil Rogers also is throwing well, and the Rockies believe that righties John Maine and Greg Reynolds will contribute at some point as well.
and their rivals as the season approaches.
Cook, set to earn $9.25 million this season, began the spring with right shoulder tightness, then suffered a broken right ring finger. He would be difficult to move, but at least the Rockies are in a position in which they do not need to rely on him.
• Talk about a roster crunch. By the end of spring training, the Mariners could bid farewell to five members of their 40-man roster, or 16 percent.
The M’s invited 23 non-roster players to spring training, and at least five stand reasonable chances of making the team — catcher Josh Bard, infielder Adam Kennedy, right-handers Jamey Wright and Chris Ray and one of two outfielders, Ryan Langerhans or Gabe Gross.
The Mariners currently are at the maximum 40. Left-hander Garrett Olson already is on waivers, according to a major-league source.
• Another issue for the M’s: Their bullpen.
“It starts with (Brandon) League,” one scout says. “Try to name the next guy.”
The M’s might need lots of “next guys” if they open with rookie right-hander Michael Pineda and lefty Erik Bedard in their rotation. Neither is likely to work deep into games, at least initially.
• Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, who spent last season scouting with the Yankees, offers yet another ringing endorsement for the Yanks’ top pitching prospects — and actually likes right-hander Dellin Betances even better than lefty Manny Banuelos.
Betances, 6-foot-8 and 245 pounds, “might be King Felix," Towers says.
“Teddy Higuera in his prime,” Towers says, “but with a better arm.”
• New Dodgers first base coach Davey Lopes raves about the work ethic of shortstop prospect Dee Gordon, who is the son of former major-league pitcher Tom Gordon.
Lopes says that Gordon is inquisitive about the game and absorbs information like a sponge.
“His dad taught him right,” Lopes says.
• Finally, check out my video interview with the Dodgers’ Andre Ethier, who tells an amusing story about working out last offseason with the Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia at a rehabilitation center in Gilbert, Ariz.
“He’s into yelling at other patients,” Ethier says. “It’s a public place where anyone comes in to work out. You had some old retirees to young kids battling stuff. He’s in there mixing it up with all of them, asking them what’s going on, challenging them or trying to outdo them in an exercise.
“It was pretty comical for me, and I bet for those patients in there getting a chance to have some little crazy guy yelling at them every day.”
— Ken Rosenthal