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Thursday Rockpile: Optimism abounds, for now...

The Rockies pitchers went through a major change in their routine this winter that will make all the difference, you see in the past, they threw fastballs then curveballs then change-ups, or something, but now they're just practicing pitching earlier...

Nick Laham

I'm going to have a difficult time writing this post if I don't figure out a way to get around my calloused soul when it comes to articles like this, I mean if the premise is correct for some reason and that the amount of preparation that the team went through before ---for who knows how many years--- was to blame for poor performance, then what exactly took so long to go this direction instead? I mean isn't there anybody in the organization that's actually aware of the current industry best practices when it comes to off-season preparation? No, don't answer that, it was rhetorical and I really don't want to know.

So, uhm, yeah.., training, practice, repetition.., who knew that they could be as good a thing for the skilled profession of pitching as they are for any of the other skilled profession. Crazy. What will our scientists come up with next?

Jeff Francis is at least honest and doesn't go to "the best shape of his life" route in answering about his preparation for the season. As a crafty lefty though, he does understand he needs to hit his spots to be effective, and as such that seems to be what his preparation is all about this winter.

Carlos Gonzalez may actually be in the best shape of his life, or at the very least he's at the age of the statistical performance peak for baseball players in general, so it's not too much to expect great things from him this season. He speaks to a Venezuelan newspaper about his own expectations for himself.