Barnes expresses gratitude by assisting those in need

Rockies outfielder hosts Wiffle ball event to benefit Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation

Barnes expresses gratitude by assisting those in need

DENVER -- If you're a teenager -- or a little older and wonder what it's like to compete against Major League players -- and you happen to be in Anaheim, Calif., in December, you could have a chance to do so, all for a good cause, thanks to Rockies outfielder Brandon Barnes.

The second annual Barnyard Wiffle Ball Invitational is set for Dec. 13-14 at The Office Sports Academy in Anaheim -- a facility where Barnes trains in the offseason. All of the proceeds from the event go to the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. Players must be at least 15, and you never know who you may be playing with or against on the five-player teams.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Downtime gave Lyles chance to develop pitch

Rockies starter believes split-finger changeup will be big in 2015

Downtime gave Lyles chance to develop pitch

DENVER -- Rockies right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles hopes the slight step back he took during the second half of 2014 propels him forward in 2015.

Lyles was 5-1 with a 3.52 ERA in his first 12 starts -- and was on a short list of effective Rockies starters -- when he suffered a broken bone in his left (non-pitching) hand June 4. After his return, Lyles went 2-3 with a 5.31 ERA in his final 10 starts. But that happened while he incorporated a new changeup, and he believes that addition will make him a more complete pitcher.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies unveil 2015 Spring Training schedule

Rockies unveil 2015 Spring Training schedule

The Rockies will play 16 Spring Training home games at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in 2015, the fifth year they'll share the facility with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Colorado on Tuesday released its 2015 Spring Training schedule, which begins when it plays host to the D-backs on March 4 at Salt River Fields. This will be the seventh consecutive season that the Rockies open up their Cactus League slate against Arizona, and the first time since 2012 as the home team.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Walker hopes support for Hall of Fame grows

Canadian-born right fielder among the best for Expos and Rockies

Walker hopes support for Hall of Fame grows

Not many Major Leaguers can claim status as a national baseball icon, a cornerstone for two franchises and a key veteran presence for a third, but Larry Walker has all that on his resume and more.

Unless or until another player proves otherwise, Walker is the most accomplished position player from Canada to play in the Major Leagues, and he's a treasured part of the team histories of the Expos, Rockies and Cardinals.

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John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies send Nicasio to Dodgers

LA gets righty for player to be named or cash; Jackson designated

Rockies send Nicasio to Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- New Dodgers management continued to bolster the pitching staff Monday by acquiring right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio from the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named or cash considerations.

To make room for Nicasio on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated for assignment infielder Ryan Jackson, who was acquired three weeks ago off waivers from San Diego.

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Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies' leaders engage with fans on Twitter

Monfort, Bridich, Weiss, Foster answer questions from social media

Rockies' leaders engage with fans on Twitter

Rockies fans got a rare chance to ask questions to owner Dick Monfort, new general manager Jeff Bridich, manager Walt Weiss and pitching coach Steve Foster during an hour-long question-and-answer session on social media Friday afternoon.

Each answered a handful of questions on Twitter, and Monfort emphasized that the Rockies are committed to building a winner in Denver

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Morneau knocks in pair to cap strong Japan Series

Morneau knocks in pair to cap strong Japan Series

With a 1-for-3, two-RBI showing in the Major League Baseball All-Stars' 6-4 loss to Samurai Japan on Thursday, Justin Morneau headed back to the States with eight RBIs over the seven-game showcase.

Thursday's exhibition finale continued a trend of Morneau powering the MLB squad's lineup. Though he hit just .211 for the series, he drove in six of the club's 13 runs during the five official Japan Series games and led the MLB squad with eight total RBIs on the trip.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies' brass to host Twitter chat on Friday

DENVER -- The Rockies will give their fans an opportunity to hear firsthand the plans of new general manager Jeff Bridich and several other principal characters with the 2015 Rockies on Friday.

Bridich will check in with fans live via Twitter at 1 p.m. MT in a Rockies Tweet 20 chat, while also answering questions through email and Facebook.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies' Iannelli rewarded for finding Dickerson

Southeast Scout of the Year made sure club saw what he saw in promising outfielder

Rockies' Iannelli rewarded for finding Dickerson

DENVER -- Rockies scout Damon Iannelli felt strongly enough about the offensive ability of outfielder Corey Dickerson that he convinced the team to draft him twice. The way Iannelli went the extra mile -- actually, many extra miles -- to confirm his confidence in Dickerson earned Iannelli the 2014 Southeast Scout of the Year Award, which was presented last week at the General Managers Meetings.

More than 300 pro scouts based in the Southeast voted on the honor. Rockies scout Alan Matthews, who covers Georgia and North Florida, also was nominated because of the success of outfielder Charlie Blackmon. Iannelli, the Rockies' Mississippi-based national crosschecker, impressed his peers with the pursuit of Dickerson, who had a breakout performance in 2014 -- his first full season. If Dickerson grows into a star, Iannelli's legwork will be scouting legend.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Morneau powers MLB stars to first Japan Series win

Rockies star has RBI double and three-run homer at the Tokyo Dome

Morneau powers MLB stars to first Japan Series win

After managing only four runs and four extra-base hits while dropping the first three games of the Japan All-Star Series, the MLB squad needed an offensive boost.

Rockies slugger Justin Morneau provided much of that power in a 6-1 win in Game 4 on Sunday.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Morneau takes winning seriously, especially at home

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Morneau takes winning seriously, especially at home

During Game 2 of the Japan Series, Justin Morneau almost punched a hole in the ceiling of Tokyo Dome, hitting a two-run homer that cut MLB All-Stars' deficit to 3-2. Nevertheless, MLB lost 8-4, and Morneau was a little disappointed, because he really likes to win.

We know what you're thinking: Come on, everybody likes to win. But you don't know Morneau. In his postgame interview, the Rockies infielder said he even wants to defeat his wife at checkers.

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Casteel, Featherston deliver in AFL championship win

Casteel, Featherston deliver in AFL championship win

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Colorado prospects Ryan Casteel and Taylor Featherston have ridden the buses together in every level of the Minor Leagues, and now they can say that they've celebrated a championship.

Casteel and Featherston were right in the middle of Salt River's 14-7 victory over Peoria in the Arizona Fall League's title game on Saturday, capping a momentous season that saw them both reach their highest level -- the Double-A Texas League -- and thrive there.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Top performances, prospects from 2014 Fall League

A team-by-team breakdown of who impressed and how each club's top player fared

Top performances, prospects from 2014 Fall League

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Fall League is known as baseball's finishing school because it has graduated a ton of talent to the Major Leagues since it began play in 1992. The AFL has produced 212 All-Stars, including 35 in this year's Midsummer Classic, 25 Rookies of the Year, 13 MVPs and five Cy Young Award winners.

Based on the quality of the talent in the AFL this year, more big leaguers and stars are on the way. The league wrapped up its 23rd season on Saturday, with the Salt River Rafters outlasting the Peoria Javelinas, 14-7, for their fourth title and first since 2011.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies working to bring NHL action to Coors Field

Negotiations underway for Avalanche to host game during 2015-16 season

Rockies working to bring NHL action to Coors Field

DENVER -- The Rockies are working with the National Hockey League, the owners of the Colorado Avalanche and sponsor MillerCoors toward bringing an NHL Stadium Series game to Coors Field during the 2015-16 season.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort mentioned the possibilities last offseason during a social media chat, and again during Spring Training. Greg Feasel, the Rockies' executive vice president and chief operating officer, has been negotiating with the parties involved. The game would be part of the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. Last year, there were two games at Yankee Stadium, one at Dodger Stadium and one at Soldier Field.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Tulo set to dial up intensity with left hip rehab

Bridich open to listening, but shortstop likely to stay with Rockies

Tulo set to dial up intensity with left hip rehab

DENVER -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki's left hip labrum has responded to rehab from August surgery, and he's nearing the point of dialing up the intensity, according to Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich. The goal is for Tulowitzki to be ready for Spring Training.

"He's running," Bridich said Wednesday at the General Managers Meetings in Phoenix. "Rotational stuff? No. Cuts, I don't know. It's been a progression, I'm not entirely sure where he's at.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. Ken Gurnick contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Morneau's blast breaks ice for MLB squad in loss

Rockies slugger notches his first hit of Japan Series with two-run home run

Morneau's blast breaks ice for MLB squad in loss

Rockies slugger Justin Morneau helped break an 11-inning scoreless streak for the MLB All-Stars with his first hit of the Japan All-Star Series on Friday, a long two-run home run.

It remains the first baseman's only hit of the trip -- spanning an exhibition and two Series games -- but helped get the MLB All-Stars on the board against Japanese starter Chihiro Kaneko. The MLB team went on to lose, 8-4, to drop to 0-2 in the Series.

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Paulsen eager to work his way into lineup

Outfielder-first baseman made most of his opportunities in 2014

Paulsen eager to work his way into lineup

DENVER -- It's not clear how the Rockies' roster will look in 2015, since the push for improved starting pitching could lead to roster changes. But whatever happens, Ben Paulsen hopes to prove he is capable of earning a wire-to-wire roster spot.

The left-handed Paulsen yo-yoed between the Rockies and Triple-A Colorado Springs this past season, but did quite well in his small Major League sample as a first baseman and pinch-hitter -- .317 with a .348 on-base percentage, four home runs and four doubles in 66 plate appearances over 31 games. As a pinch-hitter, Paulsen went 4-for-14 (.286) with a home run and a double. Now, he hopes to expand his talents in hopes of expanding his opportunities.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Bridich working with inside knowledge of Rox

New GM will target starting pitching as Hot Stove season heats up

Bridich working with inside knowledge of Rox

DENVER -- Of the five teams in the National League West, four have changed general managers this offseason. But one of the new GMs, the Rockies' Jeff Bridich, is not like the others.

The D-backs' Dave Stewart, the Dodgers' Farhan Zaidi and the Padres' A.J. Preller represented departures from their predecessors. In the cases of the D-backs and the Dodgers, even the top baseball officers -- Tony La Russa and Andrew Friedman, respectively -- are new hires. Bridich, however, was promoted from player development director to replace Dan O'Dowd, and he has worked for the club since December 2004.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies farmhand Garvey hits camp with iconic dad

Iconic big leaguer offers advice to Ryan, an outfielder in Rockies' system

Rockies farmhand Garvey hits camp with iconic dad

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- A doubleheader of scrimmage games had left most of the other campers and ex-Dodgers exhausted. As they trudged into the locker room on Tuesday during this adult baseball camp at Historic Dodgertown, Ryan Garvey slipped into the batting cages for some extra practice.

Tossing to him in the cage was his father, ex-Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey.

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Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies trade for Minor League righty Carle

Rockies trade for Minor League righty Carle

DENVER -- The Rockies obtained Minor League right-handed pitcher Shane Carle from the Pirates on Tuesday for righty reliever Rob Scahill.

Carle, 23, a 10th-round Draft pick in 2013 out of Long Beach State, is 5-8 with a 3.26 ERA in 41 games, including 27 starts, at the Rookie and Class A levels. He went a combined 4-8 with a 3.67 ERA at Class A West Virginia and Class A Advanced Bradenton. The Rockies like Carle's low rate of walks (28 in 187 2/3 pro innings) and his potential as a ground-ball pitcher (1.52 groundouts for each flyout).

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Bridich dismisses Tulowitzki-to-Mets trade rumors

Rockies listening to offers, but GM said there is no deal in place

Bridich dismisses Tulowitzki-to-Mets trade rumors

DENVER -- The rumors landed in Phoenix for the General Managers Meetings before new Rockies GM Jeff Bridich did. Despite various reports, Bridich said the Rockies and Mets have not discussed a deal involving shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

"We have literally not had one substantive conversation with the Mets," Bridich said. "I talked to [Mets GM] Sandy Alderson, he said congratulations on the job and he said, 'What have you got in store?' Then he told me what he had in store."

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cuddyer opts for two-year deal with Mets

Outfielder-first baseman turns down $15.3 million qualifying offer

Cuddyer opts for two-year deal with Mets

DENVER -- Outfielder-first baseman Michael Cuddyer turned down a $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Rockies -- his team the last three seasons -- to sign a two-year deal with the Mets on Monday.

The Rockies will receive a compensation pick between the first and second rounds of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft for losing Cuddyer after extending him the qualifying offer.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies' Casteel leads Salt River to AFL win

Rockies' Casteel doubles twice, helps Rafters, who will play in championship game Saturday

Rockies' Casteel leads Salt River to AFL win

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Make way for the East Divison champions.

The Salt River Rafters clinched a berth in the Arizona Fall League's title game with an 8-4 victory over the Scottsdale Scorpions on Monday. Second-place Mesa lost to help Salt River clinch the division, and Surprise and Peoria are battling to determine who will be the champion of the West Division.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Majors brought out best in Matzek

Lefty was uneven in Minors, but excelled through end of '14 in big leagues

Majors brought out best in Matzek

DENVER -- The final pitch of Rockies left-hander Tyler Matzek's strong rookie season was telling. On Sept. 22, the Padres loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning, and Matzek was trying to ignore a worsening blister on his left index finger.

Matzek fanned Tommy Medica, and had two strikes on Rymer Liriano. Blister be darned, Matzek went to his put-away slider to catch Liriano looking at the third strike. Simply put, Matzek, 24, found a way.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Lefty Morales joins MLB squad for Japan Series

Lefty Morales joins MLB squad for Japan Series

DENVER -- Free-agent left-handed pitcher Franklin Morales, who pitched for the Rockies this past season, has been added to the MLB All-Star squad that is heading to the Far East for the Japan All-Star Series.

Morales, who went 6-9 with a 5.37 ERA in 38 games (22 starts) for Colorado in 2014, will join Rockies first baseman and defending National League batting champ Justin Morneau on the trip. The MLB representatives will play a five-game series sandwiched between two exhibition games.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies said to be listening on Tulo, CarGo

Rockies said to be listening on Tulo, CarGo

DENVER -- The Rockies are in listening mode for trade offers regarding shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, their big-ticket players coming off season-ending surgeries, multiple Major League sources said Thursday.

Sources said the Rockies are simply exploring all options for their 2015 roster, and would move quickly, but they will entertain trade discussions only if teams made an offer as if both players were coming off a healthy, standout-type season. Tulowitzki had surgery on his left hip labrum and Gonzalez underwent a left knee repair in late August.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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New coaches like look of Rockies' pitching staff

Foster, Holmes optimistic about holdovers from 2014

New coaches like look of Rockies' pitching staff

DENVER -- The Rockies are ready to make big offseason moves for pitching help, especially in the starting rotation, but new pitching coach Steve Foster and new bullpen coach Darren Holmes also see talent in the holdovers.

The Rockies' 4.84 ERA was ranked last in the Majors, and they were 29th in starter ERA at 4.89. Colorado's overall 4.79 ERA, which includes instances when a run was unearned against a team but earned against a reliever, was second to last to the Astros. Their 4.76 cumulative ERA of relievers -- not taking into account the official scoring rule -- was last in the Majors. No matter how you slice it, the numbers were disappointing.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Biomechanics specialist Holmes steps in for Rockies

New bullpen coach ready to assist on technical side in Colorado

Biomechanics specialist Holmes steps in for Rockies

DENVER -- New Rockies bullpen coach Darren Holmes understands the toughness it takes to pitch in Denver. He went through the successes and struggles at Mile High Stadium and at Coors Field in the early days of the franchise. Holmes can also put the brawn aside and get technical.

Holmes, 48, hired this week along with new pitching coach Steve Foster, came to the Rockies after spending last season as the Braves' biomechanics pitching consultant. After retiring from a 13-year Major league career as a right-handed reliever, Holmes took an academic approach to the game, gaining certifications in various physical, dietary and psychological concentrations, mostly through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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New pitching coach Foster ready to write next chapter

Former player rediscovered baseball while working as youth pastor

New pitching coach Foster ready to write next chapter

DENVER -- New Rockies pitching coach Steve Foster is more than happy to set straight the story of how his Major League career ended back in the 1990s, but he doesn't mind the embellishment.

The legend is that Foster, then a pitcher with the Reds, suffered his career-ending shoulder injury doing a skit on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 1993. While he notes that it's not true, it's his claim to fame.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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