Saturday Rockpile: Rockies kick off spring training slate

This guy. - USA TODAY Sports

After a really long 2012 season and the ensuing boring offseason, the Rockies are finally back in action today. Screw what the outlook for the team is -- I'm excited.

Today marks one of three days during the year in which baseball fans face the impossible task of containing their excitement.

First, there's the magical words that are so long overdue when we finally hear them: Pitchers and catchers report. Then, sandwiched in between that and the opening day of the regular season sits the first spring training game, which will commence at 1:15 p.m. MT today when the Rockies take on the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

This year's installment is different for several reasons, from the weather (snow earlier in the week, frost on the ground this morning) to the overhauled coaching staff headed by first-time manager Walt Weiss.

Weiss spoke with reporters about what Nolan Arenado needs to do to make the team out of camp. If Arenado does play well enough to crack the roster, it would only further complicate the Rockies' infield dilemma. Still, the prospect has more upside than any of the players who would be in jeopardy of losing their spot, so if it makes the team better, I'm all for it. However, another year of seasoning in AAA, or even AA, wouldn't hurt Arenado.

In addition to the tough decisions he'll have to make with the infield, Weiss obviously also faces an uphill battle with the pitching staff. Drew Pomeranz, today's starter, can help alleviate some of those concerns by taking step forward. Behind Pomeranz are a couple of guys who will be relied upon heavily this season in Adam Ottavino and Rex Brothers. If Ottavino can repeat his 2012 performance, it will further solidify the bullpen. Meanwhile, Brothers has shown flashes of being one of the most dominant relievers in the game, and all he needs is consistency.

No matter how grim the outlook is, it's always a breath of fresh air to watch and/or listen to Rockies baseball, especially if it's the first time in months that the opportunity presents itself. There's something to be said about seeing the team and players you love back in action, and the optimism that the first spring games elicits. I'm damn excited, people, and you should be too.

Gamethreads are also fun, and we'll have one of those, as always, so come back and hang out with us!

(h/t to Troy Renck for the linked photos)

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