Every winter we struggle through the cold, baseball-less months, trying in vain to not become a Rogers Hornsby cliche. Hopefully you have friends, families, loved ones, side hustles, or actual jobs to distract you, but you know full well there’s a hole in your life only baseball can fill.
But then, just when you think the hot stove is going to drive you fully insane—Hark! What ho? Could it be? Yes! It is!
Full squad workouts officially began yesterday, though many of the most recognizable faces have been at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (SRFaTS?) for a while now. Even better: real major leaguers are going to be playing real fake major league baseball games in real stadiums for real at the end of this week. Just over a week later, the fourth edition of the quadrennial World Baseball Classic will kick off. Spring is here, Rogers. Baseball is coming back.
Few, if any, of us are close enough to the action to really enjoy it for all it’s worth right now (though, if you plan on going, write us a FanPost with your best spring training advice!). That’s why we’re especially thankful to those who are already there. The Rockies’ social media team, MLB’s Thomas Harding, and the Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders have been whetting our appetites for baseball with all kinds of Twitter and Instagram posts. Here are some of the best they’ve given us so far.
Harding was there when workouts began in earnest on Valentine’s Day:
#Rockies position players bumpin' the old-school and loosening up for unofficial workouts. Pitchers hit the field for real workouts soon. pic.twitter.com/nLT0yfGBBW— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) February 14, 2017
And he was even nice enough to give us some video of our favorite third baseman, Nolan Arenado, as well as one of “bearded center fielder” Charlie Blackmon.
Would i give early-morning Valentine's Day hitting video and not offer some of #Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado? I'm sweeter than that. pic.twitter.com/UaGaAxkzfl— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) February 14, 2017
Valentine’s Day was the “Pitchers and Catchers Day,” so Harding also gave us great clips of Rockies pitchers, from prospects like Sam Howard, to star closer Adam Ottavino, to WBC participant (and future closer) Rayan Gonzalez. He also was kind enough to offer video of two of the big signings from this offseason:
There are a lot of #Rockies free-agent dollars and many hopes: Greg Holland (56) and Mike Dunn (38). pic.twitter.com/sGDlN36fSb— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) February 15, 2017
Of course there’s the standard early-spring training exercises, like playing pepper, pitchers tossing bullpens, catchers working on blocking, and, of course Pitcher Fielding Practice (PFPs). There was also some more fun drills, like watching a catcher trying to catch a falling projectile:
Here is a fun little game at #Rockies camp. Machine fires a pop-up. The catcher can't look for it until he gets the "go" command. pic.twitter.com/zS3uKmlySP— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) February 17, 2017
Thomas Harding also offered fans their first looks at new Rockies James Ferris...
Here is #Rockies RHP James Farris, obtained from the #Cubs for RHP Eddie Butler pic.twitter.com/ZeEGYzkdt2— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) February 18, 2017
and Ian Desmond, who seems to be 100% committed to learning first base.
New #Rockies 1B Ian Desmond takes more groundballs before 8 a.m. than most people take all day. pic.twitter.com/pi9sdZ3nUY— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) February 17, 2017
Desmond isn’t the only one trying to play first base at the major league level. One of the joys of spring is getting to see some footage of the prospects we’ve spent so much time talking about, like Ryan McMahon (No. 7 PuRP), Jordan Patterson (No. 13 PuRP), and Pat Valaika (HM PuRP):
#Rockies hopefuls Ryan McMahon, Jordan Patterson and Pat Valaika putting in work. pic.twitter.com/t193sgkYaG— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) February 17, 2017
But if you want to see a virtuoso at work, check out Vinny Castilla hitting groundballs to Nolan and Cristhian Adames:
Harding also got video of prospects facing off in live BP: Kyle Freeland (No. 8 PuRP) versus last year’s sixth round pick, Willie Abreu:
#Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland with 2015 6th-round draft pick Willie Abreu in the batter's box. pic.twitter.com/UQlxCUiHxC— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) February 19, 2017
We’re also seeing the new purple for the first time and it looks :fire emoji: (even if not everyone in the clubhouse in convinced).
*obligatory hashtag squadgoals tweet*#RoxSpring ✊️ ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/ntcEnlHBHC— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) February 20, 2017
One of the coolest things that the Rockies social media team has been doing is regularly taking out the drone to give us some incredible views of the Salt River Fields complex (scroll through their Instagram page to see more):
Took the drone out for a spin to shoot some sweet aerials for you...#RoxSpring ☀️ ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/uEwSGOUiAi— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) February 19, 2017
They really have been on their game. The Rockies Photo Blog is worth a daily visit, especially for gems like these:
Flowrious.#RoxSpring ☀️ ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/NTZ5OqteVd— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) February 17, 2017
Ultimately, though, the best part of all this coverage is that the sweet sounds of baseball are back:
Here is your defending NL batting champ, #Rockies 2B DJ LeMahieu pic.twitter.com/5SG2xmj163— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) February 20, 2017
It’s enough to make a grown man squeal with delight. Baseball is coming. Let all the earth rejoice.
Time to go. Our new journey begins today!#RoxSpring ☀️ ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/VAm5OuFw8C— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) February 20, 2017