The Astros organization is mourning the loss of 20-year-old pitcher Jose Rosario, who died in a motorcycle accident yesterday evening in his native Dominican Republic. Rosario pitched in the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League last year. The organization’s international director Oz Ocampo praised Rosario as “a beloved member of the Astros Latin American program.” Ocampo continued: “He will be remembered as a long, lanky-framed pitcher with tremendous ability, an outgoing personality and an ever-positive disposition. He was a true student of the game and was constantly looking to learn and improve his abilities. He was also a supportive teammate, as he made it a point to encourage his fellow Astros and deliver that message with a smile on his face. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Rosario family.” We here at MLBTR join in that message.
Here are the latest notes from the game’s western divisions:
- The Padres are interested in free agent righty Tim Lincecum, Jon Heyman reports on Twitter. He notes that the Marlins also are continuing to look at the former Giants star, along with other teams, as he readies for a planned February showcase after undergoing hip surgery last year.
- Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon says he was surprised that the team decided to bring in yet another left-handed outfield bat in Gerardo Parra, as Nick Groke of the Denver Post writes. “I was little perplexed at first,” said Blackmon. “Because I didn’t really see it coming. Going into the offseason, I didn’t know that was in play, really. But after looking at it, he’s a great player. I’ve played against him, seen him play. He’s got one of the best arms in the league. He can only make our team better.” Blackmon, of course, continues to draw trade chatter, all the more so after the Parra signing, but he said he’s not bothered by the rumors — while rightly noting that it’s always “good to be relevant.”
- Athletics closer Sean Doolittle says he is ready to go for spring camp without any restrictions after dealing with shoulder issues last year, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. “I promised I wouldn’t tell anybody I’m in the best shape of my life because I’ll never be 21 again,” said Doolittle. “But I think this is the most important offseason of my career, and I’ve been going about it with that mentality.”
- Meanwhile, the Athletics aren’t yet sure what to expect from outfielder Coco Crisp, Slusser adds. Though he’s beginning to swing the bat, it isn’t yet clear how he’ll bounce back from an injury-plagued 2015. DH Billy Butler is another question mark, but he says he’s “got a lot left in the tank,” as John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Butler will look to build upon a solid final month in an otherwise forgettable season. “I’m in good shape. I’m strong. Everything’s great,” he said. “I know what the expectations are, so let’s go out there and do it. I’ve prepared this winter to do that.”
- It sounds like extension talks could soon take place between the Athletics and outfielder Josh Reddick, and GM David Forst said that the team intends to try to find ground for a multi-year deal, as SB Nation’s Jeremy Koo writes. Oakland “will make an effort at” a deal, said Forst. He added that Reedick has “kind of become the face of our team; somewhat the drive and energy of the club.”