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Colorado Rockies pitchers and catchers start spring training today

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News, notes and links for Tuesday, February 14

The first official workout of the Colorado Rockies’ 2017 campaign is today. While many players have already been in Arizona working out and getting ready, all of the Rockies’ pitchers and catchers will officially kick off spring training with their Valentine’s Day workout. Here are some of the stories you need to know as things get underway. As always, these stories are focused on the health and how in shape the players are!

Rockies expect healthy McGee to bounce back | Rockies.com

The early reports are that Jake McGee is healthy and ready to finally regain the form that made him one of the most dominant relievers in the game a few years ago. If true, this could be a huge boon for the Rockies. Getting a productive season from McGee would have as much impact on the Rockies’ bullpen as signing one of the top free-agent relievers available during the offseason.

Ottavino past injuries, confident for strong '17 | Rockies.com

Now even further removed from his Tommy John surgery, Adam Ottavino is primed to use his arsenal of sliders to embarrass hitters in whatever role the Bud Black chooses to use him in. Entering spring training, Ottavino is the favorite to be the Rockies’ closer and if he can fully regain his command he should have no issue keeping that role on lock down.

Castro hopes offseason work pays off in spring | Rockies.com

The stories on the Rockie’ bullpen arms continue to roll in. Miguel Castro had a disastrous season last year, struggling both in the majors and after his demotion to Triple-A. Shoulder soreness may have been part of the cause and the Rockies shut him down early to give him more time to get healthy entering this season.

Scott Oberg, back from blood clot scare, in the mix for Rockies’ bullpen | Denver Post

Scott Oberg has been one of the most enigmatic pitchers in the system. Blessed with some of the best raw stuff among any of the Rockies’ bullpen arms the last few seasons, his inability to command and control it has led to disastrous results. Just when it appeared that he was finally putting it all together, doctors diagnosed Oberg with axillary artery thrombosis, ending his season and putting his baseball future at risk. After two surgeries and overcoming some complications, Oberg is ready to start spring training and hopefully be a part of the Rockies’ bullpen.

There’s an additional note in this article about Ian Desmond. Desmond believes that his athleticism can be useful at first base as opposed to many who see it as wasted.

Jeff Hoffman aiming for much more than just back spot in Rockies rotation | Denver Post

After so many stories about the Rockies’ relievers, we finally get to one about a starter. Hoffman is primed to not just be a part of the Rockies’ rotation, but to also make a similar impact to what Jon Gray did last year in his first full season in the majors. Considering the quickness with which he made the majors after losing time to Tommy John surgery, Hoffman’s struggles last season were hardly surprising. If he can duplicate Gray’s trajectory toward success, the Rockies’ rotation will be in a very good place.