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Rockies Nolan Arenado leaves team to join Team USA

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Rockies news and links for March 6, 2017.

The Rockies lost to the Brewers 9-4 in yesterday’s spring training game. Trevor Story hit a home run, and Chad Bettis made his first start of the spring and allowed a homer. It’s spring training, so don’t put much into either of those outcomes—Cristhian Adames hit a home run, too! Kyle Freeland pitched two clean innings, but fellow prospect Ryan Castellani gave up two home runs in an inning of work. Now to today’s links:

Nolan Arenado “Excited” for Team USA, World Baseball Classic | Rox Pile

Nolan Arenado has left the Rockies and has joined Team USA for the World Baseball Classic. Their first game is on Friday. Kevin Henry talked to Arenado after Saturday’s game about the upcoming tournament. Arenado told Henry that the intensity will ramp up a little bit. But, unsurprisingly, “I kind of take spring training serious anyway,” Nolan said.

Read what you need to know about the WBC here. Israel and Korea kicked off play at 2:30 a.m. MT today. You might have missed it. Once the game ends, Team Israel will go to sleep, wake up, and play a game you can watch, at 8:00 p.m. MT tonight, against Chinese Taipai.

Kiszla: How a young Cuban refugee fueled Nolan Arenado’s all-American baseball dream | Denver Post

This is a great story that recounts a slice of Arenado family history that saw his young father and his family flee Cuba and, eventually, seek and find refuge in the United States. Read this one.

Which MLB teams will beat or betray expectations in 2017? | ESPN (subscription required)

FanGraphs’ projected records are out, and their system believes that the Rockies will finish with a 78-84 record. Of course, we also have our own eyes and knowledge to modify these projections. Jeff Sullivan believes that the Rockies will finish with about four wins more than they’re projected, which seems about right. Sullivan writes: “I don't see the Rockies pushing for the division title, but the Giants will have to watch their backs in the NL's wild-card chase.”

Saunders: Think politics are a volatile topic? Try discussing MLB uniforms, Rockies purple

Patrick Saunders recounts a debate he had in Arizona about baseball uniforms. As it is with any such debate, there are right and wrong opinions here. I fully agree with Saunders’s pro-new purple view, but I disagree with his pro-Cardinals’ uniform opinion. I don’t know how any uniform debate these days can not point out those new Diamondbacks’ uniforms, which will never look normal.