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Colorado Rockies baseball begins today

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The Rockies' spring training opener is upon us. Here are a few things to watch for.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockies kick off their spring training slate on Wednesday against the Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields. We won't be able to see our beloved purple-clad heroes on television, but rest assured the portion of the fanbase who hasn't become completely apathetic will be glued to their boomboxes, smartphones, computers or car stereos (preferably of the detachable faceplate variety for security purposes).

Fresh off the team's intrasquad game on Tuesday, here are a few things to keep an eye on in first few days of Cactus League play.

The 30: Offseason Stock Report
Grantland's Jonah Keri has a better outlook on the Rockies than his counterpart did last week. Keri notes the obvious: that the Rockies need health from Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez as well as big steps forward from Jon Gray and Eddie Butler in order to fulfill Dick Monfort's yearly vision of 90-plus wins. It could happen, though. It's just a longshot. Either way, we should be able to get some sort of inkling of how some of those things might unfold during Cactus League play.

Rosario shows athleticism in work at first base |
Wilin Rosario showed well in the Rockies' intrasquad game Tuesday, according to Thomas Harding. Rosario, as Walt Weiss told Harding, is going to have to show he can make error-saving plays consistently, and that's the biggest worry among the Rockies and their followers. There's little doubt that Rosario and Justin Morneau could make a great platoon offensively, but the Gold Glove winners in the other infield spots need to have confidence that The Bull won't ole hurried throws.

Improving bullpen performance is Topic 'A' for Rockies |
The Rockies' bullpen has a solid leader in LaTroy Hawkins and a coach who is doing and saying the right things in Darren Holmes. Now it's time to put up or shut up, Hawkins told Harding in so many words.

Rafael Ynoa, off strong Dominican league, starts quick at Rockies camp
Rafael Ynoa was the star of the Rockies' intrasquad game, writes Nick Groke of the Denver Post. Ynoa, who will be fighting with Charlie Culberson and others for what will likely be the final 25-man roster spot, is trying to get an instant leg up on the competition following a good winter league showing and a fast start in spring training. Ynoa homered and flashed a good glove in the scrimmage, which featured a vintage performance from Adam Ottavino and a plethora of trash talk from Rockies catching coach Rene Lachemann.

Other links

What are the best uniforms in Major League Baseball? - The Denver Post
Patrick Saunders ranks his top five baseball uniforms. Good list, though I'd probably ditch the A's and add the Blue Jays. Their decision to go back to their old design was a huge no-brainer, and I'm glad they finally did it after screwing around with awful designs for the better part of two decades.

The Smell of Baseball is in the Air
Spring training is here, and Matt Quin writes about why that's important.

Stay tuned for full coverage of the Rockies' opener (including our first GameThread of the year!).