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The Rockies need Seunghwan Oh to be a big part of the 2019 bullpen

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Rockies news and links for February 23, 2019

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Happy first day of spring training games! The Colorado Rockies play the Arizona Diamondbacks today at 1:10 PM MT at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Chad Bettis will be pitching for the Rockies, with Matt Koch taking the hill for the D-Backs. Also scheduled to pitch for the Rox are Jeff Hoffman, Chi Chi González, DJ Johnson, Justin Lawrence (No. 15 PuRP) and Yency Almonte, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports.

There will be no television broadcast, but you can listen to the radio call on KOA 850 AM. I will also be live-tweeting the game on the Purple Row Twitter account and you are more than welcome to follow along there as well!

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Oh stays focused despite missing home country | Rockies.com
The Rockies will be heavily relying upon Seunghwan Oh to replicate his 2018 season in the coming year. With Adam Ottavino lost to the New York Yankees, Oh will become a key set-up man for a Rockies’ bullpen that struggled outside of the trio of O’s (Ottavino, Oh and Scott Oberg) last season.

After the 2018 season ended, Oh expressed homesickness for his native South Korea, which left many fans worrying about his future in Colorado, even with his club option for 2019 vesting. Nevertheless, Oh is still a member of the Rockies and will be a big part of the upcoming bullpen, as Harding writes.

Colorado Rockies embracing loftier expectations | BSN Denver ($)
Rockies manager Bud Black gathered his team at the beginning of spring training told them it’s time to be a powerhouse. At BSN Denver, Drew Creasman writes that the Rockies belong in the conversation as among the teams most likely to win a World Series. Black agrees.

This article isn’t behind a paywall, so read up!

Peter Lambert drawing attention as Rockies’ top pitching prospect in camp | The Denver Post ($)
Peter Lambert (No. 2 PuRP) is opening eyes in spring training. Black sang his praises to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. While Lambert isn’t immediately likely to make the Opening Day roster, a good showing to begin the year in Triple-A will put him on the fast track to being one of the first call-ups in case of injury. Saunders also has an update on Josh Fuentes (No. 16 PuRP), who is eager to getting back to baseball after undergoing hand surgery which is expected to sideline him for 4-6 weeks.

There’s another big change coming to Coors Field in 2019, just look up | The Athletic ($)
Coors Field will be switching to LED lighting for the 2019 season, reports Nick Groke of The Athletic. This is expected to be more environmentally friendly and to provide a clearer high-definition picture for television. Unlike the previous metal halide field lighting, it won’t be necessary to wait for the lights to heat up. This means there will be the potential for some exciting Coors Field light shows as well!

Clayton Kershaw stops throwing, but says there is no reason to worry | The Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has been shut down from throwing for an indefinite period of time due to what manager Dave Roberts is calling an “arm kind of thing.” Kershaw did not feel right after consecutive bullpen sessions but says himself that the “thing” isn’t much of a concern at the moment. Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times has this story and more from Dodgers camp.

Twins to reportedly sign Marwin González | Twinkie Town
The Minnesota Twins have signed potential Rockies’ target Marwin González to a two-year, $21 million contract, Hayden A of Twinkie Town relays. González has the ability to play all over the diamond. Purple Row’s Eric Garcia McKinley made the case for the Rockies to sign González earlier this month.

MLB is testing pitch clock in spring training, hoping to add it for the 2019 regular season | SB Nation MLB
Major League Baseball will test out a 20-second pitch clock this spring. There is no confirmation that it will in fact be implemented once the regular season starts, but players will be given the opportunity to adjust over the next month. Eric Stephen of SB Nation has more, including the six pitchers who will be affected most— Bud Norris, Brad Hand, Joe Kelly, Pedro Baez, Jeurys Familia and Sam Dyson, who all took over 30 seconds to throw a pitch in 2018.

Top 100 MLB Players of 2019 | Sports Illustrated
Five Rockies were included in Sports Illustrated’s rankings of the top 100 players in baseball. German Márquez came in at No. 91, Kyle Freeland at No. 87, Trevor Story at No. 46, Charlie Blackmon at No. 44 and Nolan Arenado at No. 8.