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What must the Rockies do to win the National League West?

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Rockies news and links for February 24, 2019

Saunders: 10 things the Rockies must do to win the National League West | The Denver Post ($)
Colorado Rockies’ general manager Jeff Bridich says he believes his team can compete for a World Series in 2019. Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post offers 10 steps that the Rockies must take to accomplish this lofty goal- or at least win the National League West. Among them are staying healthy, getting production from the back end of the rotation and more consistency on offense. There’s also the matter of beating the Los Angeles Dodgers, which the Rox have had a difficult time doing over the past six years.

After erratic ‘18, Gray used offseason to improve | Rockies.com
Some of the commentary surrounding Jon Gray became downright personal over the 2018 season. But Gray told MLB.com’s Thomas Harding that such outside noise has not been a part of his focus. Gray has high expectations for himself and continues to work to get better.

Willians Astudillo and the backup catcher question | Twinkie Town
Everyone around baseball loves Minnesota Twins’ backup catcher Willians Astudillo. But could he find himself starting 2019 in Triple-A? Tawny Jarvi of Twinkie Town investigates.

Spring training recap

The Rockies opened Cactus League action on Saturday, beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Things didn’t start out so great, as Chad Bettis gave up a three-run home run to Steven Souza Jr. Jeff Hoffman kept the Rox in the game in his two innings of work, with a fastball that touched 97.1 mph.

The young Rockies’ offense would battle back soon enough thanks to a two-run single by Ryan McMahon and another RBI hit from Pat Valaika. Sam Hilliard and Colton Welker each hit two-run home runs in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. To close out the game, Justin Lawrence set down the side in order, with a pair of punchouts. Lawrence’s fastball reached 98.8 mph.

Perhaps the biggest story news of the day was a hit-by-pitch incurred by Trevor Story. Story exited the game and was later diagnosed with an elbow contusion, but it’s not believed to be a significant issue. Sunday was already a scheduled off-day for Story.