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Colorado Rockies news from the first official day of Spring Training

News and links from the first day of Rockies Spring Training!

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Murphy’s toughness make him favorite to be Rockies’ No. 2 catcher - The Denver Post

The Rockies are thrilled to welcome rookie catcher Tom Murphy back to camp, where the detail-oriented 24-year old is receiving rave reviews from teammates and coaches. Adam Ottavino took to Murphy late last season, offering pointers on pitch calling to the young catcher. Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post spoke with Ottavino and manager Walt Weiss about the exciting prospect of Murphy’s career. The 2012 3rd rounder made "blocking pitches and throwing runners out" concentration points for his offseason work. A useful skill set considering Nick Hundley’s 34% caught stealing rate last season. Murphy is a favorite to break camp with the team as Hundley’s back-up.

Gray excited to test retooled delivery -

Thomas Harding of caught up with Rockies top pitching prospect, Jon Gray, on his major league takeaways and subsequent offseason work ahead of Spring Training. The big righty has undergone several changes to his delivery since being drafted in the first round four years ago out of Oklahoma, but is still working to fine tune his motion. This season -- in addition to adjustments made during his time with Darren Holmes and Steve Foster -- Gray will debut a curveball, only the most recent project in his ever-evolving journey to becoming a dominant major league ace.

Weiss ready for anything this spring -

In what will be his fourth season with the team, Rockies manager Walt Weiss is rolling with the punches in 2016. Weiss expressed confidence in team’s makeup, and will focus on process rather than prediction in the year ahead. On the bullpen update that accounted for most of the club’s offseason moves, Weiss said:

"Not that there's formulas in this game, but I do believe that we need to focus on the last three or four innings of a game just as much as the first five or six innings," Weiss said. "You've seen some [other] teams do that, too, but especially for us. I saw us be successful. I was a part of that when we had a really good bullpen. If our bullpen can beat the other team's bullpen, I like our chances."

Friedrich released after waiver claim reversed-

After being DFA’d to make room for Jake McGee, and claimed off of waivers by the Angels earlier this month, Christian Friedrich was returned to the Rockies on account of a failed physical. The Rockies then released Friedrich, 28, who was drafted in the first round in 2008. As a result of this unusual situation, Friedrich is now a free agent.

Rob Manfred is in a no-win position with MLB’s domestic violence policies - Fox Sports

A recent statement from Yankees closer Aroldis Champman that he will undoubtably appeal any suspension given in response to domestic violence allegations, complicates the commissioner’s position, according to Ken Rosenthal. The policy is joint, thus requiring the approval of the union, but the opportunity to appeal remains. Since Chapman was never charged with a crime, his penalty will likely not be the most severe of those given. Jose Reyes, however, has been. Like Chapman, Reyes has the ability to appeal, and if Chapman’s response is any indication, he probably will. Nothing can be known for sure of how well the policy serves its purpose, but by the looks of things there will be plenty of unhappy patrons on either side of the ruling.

Rockies hoping revamped bullpen can overcome rotation - Today’s Knuckleball

Nick Stephens takes a look at the Rockies’ peculiar pitching situation for Today’s Knuckleball. Instead of adding promising young arms to their starting rotation -- as was the consensus top priority this offseason -- the Rockies front office signed two veteran bullpen arms in Chad Qualls and Jason Motte, as well as landing Jake McGee from Tampa Bay. Though the bullpen was disastrous in 2015, the question remains of how well a remodeled bullpen will counteract an unstable set of starters.

Tony Phillips’ death at 56 a blow for Rockies manager Walt Weiss - The Denver Post

The unexpected death of beloved Oakland Athletic and World Series hero, Tony Phillips, was a particularly tough pill to swallow for Rockies manager Walt Weiss. The two were former roomates and dear friends, Weiss explained to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Phillips was a .266 hitter in his impressive, 18-year career in which he played for six teams and in both leagues. Additional inofrmation on DJ LeMahieu’s near-arbitration salary settlement and Jairo Diaz’s place in the ‘pen can be found here.

Rockies pitchers have fun with ‘Camp Hip-Hip’-

A bunch of fun tid-bits from the first official day of Rockies’ Spring Training camp!