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Colorado Rockies prospects Jon Gray, Eddie Butler begin 2nd big league spring training

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Spring Training is here, and it's time to catch up with the boys in purple

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Jon Gray, Eddie Butler eager to pitch their way into the the Rockies' rotation - Denver Post

This story mirrors what we heard at this time last year, as Rockies fans had visions of the prospect duo dominating camp, dominating the minors, and coming up in June to become permanent members of the rotation. That didn't happen, because baseball isn't so easy to figure out. Butler had a down year in the minors and struggled in his three Major League starts while dealing with injury. Gray was solid in Double-A, but was (wisely) not pushed into the MLB rotation.

Now it's 2015 and the two are a year older, a year wiser, and hopefully close to making a real impact in Denver. As Patrick Saunders notes in the article, both pitchers are currently about 6th or 7th on the rotation depth chart, meaning they will probably break camp in the minor leagues. This is for the best. These two players are two of the best pitching prospects the Rockies have ever had on the cusp of the big leagues; it's best to let them pitch themselves onto the roster and not simply throw them into the fire.

Rockies prospect Jon Gray admits he doesn't know his teammate won the batting title -

Speaking of Gray, it turns out he doesn't follow the Major Leagues. Like, at all. Doesn't watch the games on TV, doesn't know who wins awards or any of that stuff. Which is kind of awesome. Dude's here to pitch, not read box scores.

Vets, prospects spend offseason near Scottsdale -

The Salt River Fields workout facilities are super nice, and Rockies players are taking advantage. A bunch of them live in Scottsdale in the offseason and get their workouts in at the facility. It's especially nice for the younger players, guys who haven't made the big leagues and don't have a lot of money yet. Training can get expensive fast. Hopefully that transitions to better player development.

What the Colorado Rockies did during the 2014-2015 offseason - Denver Post

Patrick Saunders caught up with some of the players that have reported to Salt River Field. Charlie Blackmon and Christian Friedrich attended the X-Games in Aspen and are now wanna-be ski-bums. Rex Brothers got hitched. Mike McKenry drove through a snowstorm; apparently it was some real wrath-of-God stuff. Glad he made it down to AZ okay.

Around MLB

Giants' Bochy hospitalized after heart procedure - San Francisco Chronicle

It sounds like the procedure was fairly routine and was performed successfully. Still, heart stuff is always scary.

MLB announces pace of game initiatives, replay modifications -

New commissioner Rob Manfred made it clear that pace of the game was going to be a big issue for him, and he isn't wasting any time. Notable changes include enforcing a rule that a batter must keep one foot in the batter's  box at all times, except when he hits a foul ball or gets brushed back or whatever. Tulo might not like that.

Also, time between innings is going to be more strictly regulated. Pitchers and the batter are expected to get right to work when the TV break ends. Sounds good to me.