Rockies INF Ellis stellar in debut with Rockies
For nearly a decade, Mark Ellis dutifully followed the rules in
Oakland by donning white shoes.
Now with the Colorado Rockies, the veteran second baseman got a
little more colorful with his cleat selection, borrowing a
black-and-purple pair from Troy Tulowitzki.
The shoes, maybe even more than the purple pinstripe uniform,
will take some getting used to as the longtime Oakland infielder
settles into his new life in the Mile High City.
The Rockies acquired Ellis, along with cash, from the Athletics
on Thursday for minor league pitcher Bruce Billings and a player to
be named later.
Ellis made his debut with the Rockies on Friday night against
the Kansas City Royals. He was playing second base and batting
second in the order.
And looking snazzy in those colorful cleats.
”It’s funny not seeing white shoes. You look down and you’re
always used to white shoes,” Ellis said. ”But it’s nice.”
He’s hoping a change of scenery can break him out of a
season-long slump. Ellis hit .217 with one homer and 16 RBIs in 62
games with the A’s.
He’s off to a solid start, finishing a triple shy of the cycle
Friday and driving in three runs.
”It’s been a whirlwind couple of days,” said Ellis, who hit a
two-run homer in the fifth. ”Just see the ball and hit the ball.
That’s what I try to do. Sometimes it works, sometimes it
The Rockies are counting on Ellis to bring stability at second
base, something the team has lacked all season. They’ve trotted out
Chris Nelson, Jonathan Herrera, Eric Young Jr. and Jose Lopez,
who’s since been let go.
On Friday, Colorado sent both Nelson and Young back to Triple-A
The job belongs to Ellis.
”This is a proven major league player with a proven resume – a
very, very capable guy,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ”I don’t
know how this is going to play out, but I do know this: For us to
go out and make an acquisition like this as early as it has been
done, I’ve seen situations like this play themselves out where it
ends up being an incredible shot in the arm for a ballclub.”
Colorado definitely needs a boost. The Rockies trail San
Francisco by 6 1/2 games. Ellis already has this in common this his
teammates: Both share a passion to beat the Giants.
”That’s my goal,” Ellis said. ”That’s definitely a good team,
and it will be fun to compete against them.”
Venturing around the clubhouse Friday, Ellis ran into familiar
faces everywhere he turned. He once was teammates in Oakland with
closer Huston Street and first baseman Jason Giambi.
Any secrets he can reveal?
”I could give you a lot of dirt on Street, but Jason would
probably tell you dirt on himself,” Ellis chuckled.
Ellis had plenty of mixed emotions departing Oakland. But given
all the stars who have left town in recent years, he wasn’t
completely surprised by the move.
”I kind of figured something was going to happen in Oakland.
Somebody asked me yesterday if I expected to get traded, and when
you don’t get traded for 10 years, you don’t really expect to get
traded, but I kind of anticipated it a little bit,” Ellis said.
”It was a tough day. It was sad. You spend all that time with
people and it’s tough.
”I wanted to get here as soon as possible and start this new
chapter. I was excited when I heard it was Colorado. If I had to
leave Oakland, this was one of the spots, if not the spot, that I
wanted to go.”