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Monday Rockpile links, 3/3: Larkin likes Tulo, Gray and Butler get national attention

Troy Tulowitzki is under appreciated, Jon Gray and Eddie Butler get national attention, Nolan Arenado wants to become an all around player, and Matt Belisle is still a horse the Rox trust in their pen. All that and more in today's Rockpile links.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin doesn't believe Troy Tulowitzki is appreciated enough across MLB or by the fan base he plays in front of every summer for that matter. Troy Renck has a few good nuggets in this piece from the former Reds standout, but perhaps the money quote comes in this sad reality right here...

"I really believe they will appreciate him more when he's gone and somebody else takes over full time. They will be saying 'Where's Tulo?' "

See folks! If you don't want to listen to me, at least listen to a Hall of Famer who knows a little something about that position.

Jon Gray and Eddie Butler are really starting to catch on, not just among Colorado fans, but even within the national media. This strong piece from Jerry Crasnick is currently on the MLB front page of the four letter network's site. I'll have a little more on what their impact could mean to the Rockies long term in the Rockpile article a little later this morning.

Crasnick also took some time to focus on Nolan Arenado's bat. The sophomore is zeroing in on that part of his game in 2014. Nolan sums is up nicely here...

"I want to be the complete player. I don't want to be a guy who's just known for his defense. I want to be a guy who's known for his overall game."

Matt Belisle may be the only player on this team more under appreciated than the aforementioned Troy TulowitzkiPatrick Saunders notes the workload Belisle has shouldered in recent seasons, as well as the fact that Belisle is ready to continue his big innings role. Despite some bumps last season, it should come as no surprise that the club still trusts him to get the high leverage outs late in games.

Also from Saunders, Walt Weiss talks briefly about the strategy regarding the new MLB challenge system. Nothing too Earth shattering here. This will instead likely be an evolving process as the season gets underway.

Brett Anderson talks a little about what spring training has been like after being traded from Oakland last December.

Around MLB

Grant Brisbee tells us why the 2014 Red Sox won't win the World Series, and hey, he's a writer with recent first hand experience covering a team that went from a parade to a flaming wreck, so he might be onto something here.

The Dodgers don't think Matt Kemp is going to be ready for opening day. He's a interesting player, one of the big wild cards in the NL West race. If he suffers through another down season, it may help open the door for another team to take the division, even with the extensive outfield depth the Dodgers possess.

This was already linked in Saturday's Rockpile, but if you're not familiar with how almost every team across baseball locking up their young players is changing the game, read Tom Verducci's piece. The Rockies front office takes more than their fair share of beatings from the fan base, but I think it's pretty clear they deserve credit for getting out in front of this thing and getting Tulo and Cargo locked up at a much cheaper price than they would command now.

Matt Swartz has an amazing piece this morning on how class, race, and weather impact opportunity in baseball. This article is well worth your time.

And in case you're wondering about those three remaining free agents with draft pick compensation attached to them, all is quiet on the Ervin Santana, Stephen Drew, and Kendrys Morales fronts.

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