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Rockies’ Nolan Arenado and Jake McGee ready for World Baseball Classic

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Colorado Rockies news and notes for Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Arenado to realize dream of representing Team USA | Rockies.com

The World Baseball Classic officially gets underway on Monday and the Rockies have a few players representing their nations in the tournament. Thomas Harding spoke with star third baseman Nolan Arenado about what it’s like to be snubbed four years ago only to be enthusiastically selected this time around.

Accelerated prep could be new norm for McGee | Rockies.com

Harding also caught up with Jake McGee to see how he prepared this offseason for the tournament to be one of two lefties—along with IndiansAndrew Miller—in the USA bullpen.

Bud Black, Jeff Bridich bullish on Rockies’ organizational pitching depth | Denver Post

As we’ll get into later this morning, depth is the key for success in the major leagues, and that is part of what has the Rockies ready to open their contention window.

Jon Gray’s work controlling running game paying off for Rockies | Denver Post

One of the fun parts of spring training is to hear how established talents are trying to find ways to improve. For some it’s all about the little things. Jon Gray is determined to do better controlling baserunners this season and spoke with Patrick Saunders about it here.

In relief, Hoffman shows offseason improvement | Rockies.com

Similarly interesting is how players looking to establish themselves in the majors are trying to improve their games in order to prove that they belong. Jeff Hoffman, who has altered his delivery in the offseason, is one of the perfect examples of that principle this year.

The Most Dominant Rockies Pitcher | FanGraphs

Jeff Sullivan has a quick “InstaGraphs” post on the beloved Adam Ottavino and why his success is key to the bullpen turning things around from 2016, which is crucial to the Rockies’ chances of contention in 2017.

Contenders that will regret not upgrading their weakest positions | ESPN Sweetspot

The Rockies are not directly mentioned here (and the Braves are somehow listed as “contenders”) but they do get a quick mention about how they have the lowest projected WAR at the catcher position for 2017. This is where the “Matt Wieters-to-Rockies” narrative came from this offseason. What’s interesting is that, considering we’re set to start a pair of catchers who combined have less than a full season’s worth of AB’s in the majors, I’m sure many of us feel perfectly fine with Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy behind the dish this season.