The first day of spring

USA TODAY Sports

Ladies and gentlemen, Spring Training starts today. Baseball is back.

The forecast calls for a high near 60 degrees in Denver today, meanwhile in Scottsdale Rockies pitchers and catchers are reporting to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. I don't care what the calendar or that silly groundhog says, today is the first day of Spring.

In just a few short hours, we will be seeing new photos as the 2014 Rockies begin to take shape, including Brett Anderson and LaTroy Hawkins. Also, Jordan Pacheco will be in his new role as the Rockies' backup catcher.

The season begins for the Rockies with many questions, chief among them being whether Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez can stay healthy, especially with the latter moving to center field for 2014.

Gonzalez's move to center signals the beginning of the post-Dexter Fowler era for the Rockies, and it remains to be seen what the team will get this season from Brandon Barnes and Jordan Lyles who came to Denver from the Astros in exchange for Fowler.

Perhaps most importantly, today marks the day that Jon Gray and Eddie Butler report to their first Major League Spring Training, both of them ranking among the top prospects in baseball on preseason lists and as two of the best pitching prospects the franchise has ever seen. According to management, one or both of them could make their Rockies debut in 2014.

There may not be many expectations for the Rockies this season, but today is a day to be optimistic, because baseball is back.

LINKS

Brett Anderson ready for Colorado Rockies rotation role - Denver Post
Troy Renck talks to the Rockies' newest starting pitcher, who says he is healthy and ready to take a significant role in the rotation.

It's a wonderful time...baseball is back! - ESPN
Tim Kurkjian checks in with a league-wide Spring Training preview for ESPN.

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