Rockies manager Bud Black was asked during Rockies Fest at Coors Field about what he expects for 2024.
Black has full knowledge that the Rockies are coming off their worst record in franchise history (59-103), will continue introducing prospects to the Majors and will be without starting pitcher Germán Márquez until midseason and Antonio Senzatela for likely the whole year. But his experience tells him that he doesn’t know everything, and what no one knows could be exciting. Black's Spring Training plan is for equal, if not greater, attention and exposure for future Rockies in comparison to the 2024 Opening Day squad.
But yet …
“There’s been a year of experience for a few of our younger players -- Nolan Jones, Brenton Doyle, Ezequiel Tovar,” Black said. “I think we’re going to stay healthier -- you don’t know, but it’s hard not to. That gives me optimism that a year of experience for our guys, a health bounceback and an improved overall rotation. … That’s where I’m hanging my hat.”
Here are the basics for the Spring Training that Black can hardly wait to begin:
When is the first workout for pitchers and catchers?
What is the date of the first full-squad workout?
Where is the team’s facility?
7555 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Can fans attend workouts?
Yes, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. MST. There are two entrances on Hummingbird Lane, which is on the first-base side of the complex. One leads to the cloverleaf (four fields with a common area in the middle). The other entrance leads to a walkway to the stadium, past the batting cages. One workout field and two bullpen areas, including one that allows fans to look downward at throwing sessions, are accessible.
Who are some new faces fans should know?
The two keys are right-handed starters Cal Quantrill, obtained in a trade with the Guardians, and Dakota Hudson, signed as a free agent after pitching for the Cardinals from 2018-23.
Established free agents don't often sign to pitch in Denver’s atmosphere, so the Rockies have hoarded pitchers through the Draft and trades for prospects. But Quantrill and Hudson signal a strategy that could help the Colorado obtain accomplished Major Leaguers. Both enjoyed early-career success with clubs that made the postseason, but they sustained injuries that led their clubs to go in other directions.
Both, however, are young -- Quantrill turns 29 on Saturday and Hudson is 29. They finished last season healthy and are rebound candidates.
Lefty Jalen Beeks, claimed off waivers from the Rays, adds experience to the bullpen.
Who are some of the top prospects invited to Major League camp?
The Spring Training roster features 15 players from the Rockies’ Top 30 prospects list. Four are on the 40-man Major League roster, and theoretically could be seen this season -- switch-hitting shortstop Adael Amador (No. 1), outfielder Yanquiel Fernandez (No. 2), corner infielder Warming Bernabel (No. 10), corner infielder/outfielder Hunter Goodman (No. 12, who made his Major League debut late last season) and right-handed pitcher Victor Vodnik (No. 25 after also making his debut).
There is as much excitement for the 10 non-roster invitees. They are heavy with recent early picks in the MLB Draft, including last year’s No. 1, right-handed starter Chase Dollander (No. 3) and close-to-the-Majors outfielder Jordan Beck (No. 4) -- former University of Tennessee teammates.
Here is a tweet from MLB Pipeline that lists the non-roster invitees that are in the Rockies Top 30:
When is the team’s first Cactus League game?
The Rockies open against the defending National League champion D-backs on Feb. 23 at 1:10 p.m. MST. at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
What are a few other notable Cactus League games?
The Dodgers, featuring new signing Shohei Ohtani, visit Salt River Fields on Feb. 26, and play host to the Rockies in Glendale, Ariz., on March 3. The World Series champion Rangers visit SRF on March 6 and March 15, and Colorado faces Texas at Surprise, Ariz., on March 22.
What is Spring Breakout and when is the game?
All 30 MLB clubs will assemble a roster filled with 20-25 of their best prospects to take on top Minor League or rookie talents from other organizations. Each team will play at least one seven-inning exhibition game as part of the initiative.
The Rockies will play their Spring Breakout game against the Diamondbacks on March 16 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Will the team’s Spring Training games be televised?
An announcement on the team’s television arrangements for Spring Training and the regular season is expected soon.
Will the team’s Spring Training games be broadcast on radio?
Yes. Here is a full list of games on KOA 850 AM and 94.1 FM, and the KOA Rockies Radio Network:
• Feb. 23 vs. Diamondbacks
• Feb. 24 at Diamondbacks
• Feb. 25 at Brewers
• Feb. 26 vs. Dodgers
• March 2 vs. Reds
• March 3 at Dodgers
• March 4 vs. Giants
• March 8 at Angels
• March 10 vs. Brewers
• March 12 vs. Royals
• March 19 vs. Guardians
• March 25 at Brewers
• March 26 vs. Brewers
When is the club’s last game in Arizona?
The last game of Spring Training is March 26 against the Brewers at 1:10 p.m. MT, but the fun doesn’t end there.
What are the details for Opening Day?
The Rockies will stay in The Valley of the Sun and open the regular season against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field on March 28 at 8:10 p.m. MT.
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