Saturday Rockpile: Rockies name Ubaldo Jimenez opening day starter, name opening day grass color "green".

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 14: Fans follow the action on the baseball diamond between the Cincinnati Reds and the Colorodo Rockis during the spring training baseball game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 14, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Rockies have named Ubaldo Jimenez their starter for Opening Day against the Diamondbacks on April 1, with Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Jason Hammel lined up to follow him in the next three games. De La Rosa wants to get back into action against MLB hitters after getting roughed up by aggressive minor leaguers yesterday. He continues to recover from a lat strain suffered earlier this Spring.

Starter #5 remains a little bit of a mystery, although with just over two weeks left to make a decision, I imagine that it would take quite an implosion by Esmil Rogers to bump him out of the role for the game on April 5th. It could be a situation where Rogers' tryout will be rolled out into a beta phase in the beginning of the MLB season before a final decision actually gets made. Rogers' primary competitors are Greg Reynolds, who ran into command trouble in a start yesterday, and John Maine, who will get a look today. Reynolds feels that he's put himself in a good situation with a fairly solid Spring (yesterday's results notwithstanding.)

Attendance for yesterday's win over the Milwaukee Brewers was 12,497, and the Rockies have yet to have a home contest at the Talking Stick lower than 2010's average attendance figure of 5,528. The shiny new stadium seems to be a big cultural draw in the Phoenix area, even if the Diamondbacks aren't playing, but you add news that hotel occupancy in the Valley is up and this anecdotal gem:

Hoteliers in downtown Scottsdale have reported a boost that they attribute in part to increased foot traffic brought in by fans of the Diamondbacks, Rockies and last year's World Series Championship team, the San Francisco Giants.

...and you get the impression that many more Rockies fans are making the ST pilgrimage this year. Rockies ownership have to be giddy about this bump in fanaticism for the Rockies, and it lends credence to their read of the team's economic outlook when they signed Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez to long term extensions this winter.

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