Notes: Holliday miked up, ready for '07
Left fielder made his first trip to the All-Star game last season
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Saturday was first day of full-squad workouts for the Rockies. It wasn't too soon for left fielder Matt Holliday to provide springtime beauty with his swing.
A crew from MLB Productions fitted Holliday with a microphone and followed his workout. Holliday said the production was connected to the planned re-release of the movie "The Natural," and the way Holliday launched balls over the fence would have fit such a movie.
The cameramen had the footage and sound they needed. And the Rockies will have the run production they need if Holliday carries that swing into the regular season. Holliday, 27, grabbed attention last season by batting .326 with 34 home runs and 114 RBIs and earning his first All-Star Game trip.
From his first 2007 batting practice impression, signing a one-year, $4.4 million contract to avoid arbitration didn't take much time away from honing his swing.
"I really like where I'm at right now, and I'm excited to get it going," Holliday said. "Without a doubt, I'm very comfortable. It's a nice feeling to know that you know exactly what you are trying to accomplish. To have an exact feeling of the swing is good. You're just trying to repeat it."
Holliday is looking to improve.
At times during his career, Holliday has struggled defensively, but the Rockies have not made a practice of removing him for defensive purposes, and Holliday wants to make sure that doesn't happen. He also wants to become more of a baserunning threat.
"This game has a way of challenging people, and I'm sure the opposition is going to come up with some new strategies and ways of trying to pitch him and defense him and make him not as successful as he's been in the past," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "I'm confident in his abilities. I'm confident in his preparation. I'm confident in his focus as he continues to take some steps forward."
Not much to say: Hurdle's speech to the club before Saturday's workout was a quick one, unlike in the past when he felt there were a lot of points to establish.
"We know who we are, we know what we are, we know what we need to do," Hurdle said. "They knew coming in. It was good to see."
Physical? We don't need no stinking physicals: The Rockies obtained right-hander Taylor Buchholz, along with righty Jason Hirsh and center fielder Willy Taveras, from the Astros during the offseason. The deal occurred not long after a similar trade between the Astros and the White Sox fell apart.
An Internet report during the weekend, which detailed the health status of various pitchers, said that Buchholz failed a physical and that's what caused the deal with the Sox to fall apart. But Buchholz said that was not the case.
"I never had a physical," Buchholz said.
The latest mention of a failed physical appeared to be a repeat of a report at the time of the failed deal. Buchholz had shoulder surgery in 2004 and battled tendinitis in his right middle finger during the second half of last season. But Buchholz pitched all of last season without going to the disabled list. He has experienced no problems this spring.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.