One of my favorite things about spring is that it is a time for renewal and rebirth, when vibrant signs of life creep out from the bleak shroud of winter, a time in which anything seems possible. Certainly the optimism inherent to Spring Training is conducive to this principle.
After all, it seems like everyone who was once lacking in vitality is looking for a new lease on life, whether it be journeyman right-hander Claudio Vargas or a recent trade acquisition looking to impress like the young Clayton Mortensen or even a potential diamond in the rough like Felipe Paulino. It's easy in the spring to see Paulino turning into the next Jorge De La Rosa, for Mortensen to fulfill his first round pedigree, even for Vargas to regain his form and turn into a decent reliever. The same could be said for Esmil Rogers, Greg Reynolds, and Casey Weathers, three other pitchers that have great aspirations and are hoping that spring brings a new outlook as well as new opportunities.
I could go on and list out more players for which spring represents a new beginning or at the very least an opportunity to show that they have worked hard and are ready to make an impact for their team, but I think that it's unnecessary to belabor the point any further. The stories are as much a rite of spring as the return of birds from their winter home. Yes, they're often clichés, but there's a great deal of comfort in them.
It's important to remember that these stories, no matter how remote the player's chances are for making the team, are incredibly important to the players themselves. While talent is incredibly important at all levels of baseball and especially at the higher ones, it is the ones with confidence in their abilities, the ones who are able to will themselves to a higher plane of performance, that usually find themselves winning position battles and getting playing time. Heck, the Rockies might need well over 20 pitchers this year if the injury bug hits. I'm happy to know that those pitchers that are buried on the depth chart are confident in their ability to perform if they are called upon.
Troy Tulowitzki has emerged as the face of the Rockies, writes MLB FanHouse's Jeff Fletcher. In the article, Jason Giambi had plenty of good things to say about his spring roommate. And really, who can blame him?
Beyond the Boxscore ranks the NL West rotations, placing the Rockies 3rd behind the Giants and the Dodgers. I think that it's a fair ranking, though I believe that the Rockies' superior depth will be very important in 2011.
It's official: Huston Street has gone Hollywood on us, making a commercial for ESPN fantasy baseball. So has Carlos Gonzalez, who continued his Gillette Young Guns campaign.
Chris Iannetta and Ubaldo Jimenez are looking to work out the kinks this spring.
Finally, Troy Renck writes about the Rockies' foggy 2011 lineup outlook. If Seth Smith is cast as an everyday player, the Rockies' lineup becomes a lot less foggy to me. Jim Tracy talked about the lineup with Jim Armstrong.