White takes another step toward rotation spot

White takes another step toward rotation spot

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Alex White may have moved a step closer to clinching a spot in the rotation on Wednesday with the moves that saw Jordan Lyles and John Ely -- both of whom were vying for a starting job -- optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

White stated his latest case on Wednesday against the Mets, allowing seven hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings. He feels good about where he is, but he knows he still has to pitch and get outs.

"We have a week and a half left and still some competition left," White said.

White has been working on a sinker this spring but didn't throw it much on Wednesday, though he did get a couple of key outs with it.

"The breaking ball was so-so today, not real good, kind of pulling it a little bit," he said. "Other than that, everything was good."

White tried make the Rockies' rotation last spring before being moved to the bullpen the final two weeks of camp. He was optioned to Minor League camp on the final day and had to get built back up to be a starter in Triple-A.

White, acquired in December, went 2-9 with a 5.51 ERA in 23 games (20 starts) with the Rockies, but he pitched well in the second half. He went 0-1 with a 4.03 ERA in his final seven starts of the season.

"I didn't get quite as many innings last year," said White, who's thrown 14 2/3 innings this spring. "Spring, for me, is about getting my arm ready. It takes me a whole spring to get ready for the season. This year is a little different because I know I'm competing for a spot, and I came in a lot fresher. I feel good, I feel ready for the season."

White threw 68 pitches against the Mets and hopes to be at 90 to 95 by next week.

Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.