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Saturday Rockpile: Top pitchers report to Tucson "in great shape," more

As has been said many times before, the old Spring Training cliches are running rampant at right about this point of the year. However, extensive reading has given me the feeling that it's more than just a cliche for the Rockies' pitchers. Many of them are very strong mentally, and guys like Aaron Cook and Jeff Francis have supported their strong minds by reporting to Tucson with strong bodies, as well. Provided everybody can stay healthy, know.

Colorado's Jimenez looks good in first bullpen - MLB News - FOX Sports on MSN
The upcoming season brings tremendously high expectations around baseball, and particularly in the Rockies clubhouse, for Ubaldo Jimenez. So, upon seeing that Bob Apodaca reported that Jimenez had a great first bullpen session of the spring, it reaffirms those expectations - for me, at least. U-Ball has been working out of the stretch, trying to improve his command and attempting to get to the plate quicker. If Jimenez is able to correct his issues with runners on base, he will be a serious force to be reckoned with.

More links after the jump...

Thinner Cook not taking 2010 lightly | News
Aaron Cook is determined to repeat the success he had in 2008 - the year in which he showed up to Spring Training in the best physical shape of his career. That is, until this season. Cookie is about 20 pounds lighter, and things that will help him avoid nagging back and leg injuries that hindered him last season and at the end of 2008. If Cook is able to get off to a hot start like he did two seasons ago, that will go a long way toward helping the Rockies assure themselves of avoiding what has become the norm: playing like crap for the first two months of the season.

Hardball in the Rockies: Notes: De La Rosa wants to stay
Thomas Harding posted a few blurbs on various Rockies pitchers his MLB blog yesterday afternoon. He notes that Jorge De La Rosa wants to stay in Denver, which is good for Rockies fans provided he mimics his performance from last season (or at least comes close). Pre-2008 Jorge needs not apply. He also says that Greg Reynolds looks to be healthy and working on correcting his delivery, among other things.

Rockies training means two jobs for dad De La Rosa - The Denver Post
Speaking of JDLR, Troy E. Renck's latest piece in The Post discusses De La Rosa's trying off-season, as his twin boys were born seven weeks premature and are still in an Hermosillo, Mexico hospital. Though he obviously had more important things on his mind, DLR still found the time to get his workouts in and according to Jim Tracy, reported to Tucson in terrific shape.

Jeff Francis looks good in side session | All Things Rockies
Repeating what we've been hearing for weeks, Renck says that Francis resembled his pre-2008 self during a side session yesterday. Also, Renck had blurbs about Huston Street (who looks to be healthier and more advanced than he was at this point last spring),Miguel Olivo (who is apparently an impressive physical specimen), and Justin Speier (who is quite the jokester).

Tracy raises the bar, expects team to be good - The Denver Post
Similar to what ATF linked to yesterday, but with this being Renck's take on the situation. It seems that Jim Tracy is really stressing to the club that they can't afford a repeat of the 2008 season. "What we did was good, but we can do even better," Tracy said. "When we leave here in six weeks, I want guys to know who they are, what they are, and what's expected of them."

Some ABCs of the Rockies’ camp as workouts begin today | All Things Rockies
For all of those guys who were/are looking for advice on the to-do's of Spring Training as a visitor, Renck has you covered.