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DENVER (KDVR) — “This is a new era and a new team,” said Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black on this the first official day of pitchers and catchers at spring training.  

It is a new chapter in Rockies baseball, one that will no longer include perennial all-star third baseman, Nolan Arenado.

“We’re turning that page quickly,” said Black.  “It’s time to get to work.”

Not only are the Rockies missing a perennial All-Star at third base, they are also missing much in the way of high expectations from pretty much everyone outside their own clubhouse. 

“Personally, I love it that way!” said starting pitcher Kyle Freeland. “It’s a huge motivating factor for me, people are already counting us out.  I’ve said this before but it’s even more true now, we’re like a snake in the grass.”

Also out to prove himself this year is pitcher Austin Gomber. He is new to the team this year coming over from St. Louis and now has the distinction of being one of the players acquired in the Nolan Arenado trade. 

“Obviously I understand he’s a great player, but I took it as a huge compliment that the organization believed in me and wanted me here,” said the 27 year-old left hander who will be in competition to land the 5th spot on the starting rotation.

Speaking of the Rockies starting rotation, don’t look now but with the exodus of Arenado and fellow slugger David Dahl this offseason, guess what is now considered the strength of the team? “Starting pitching!  Isn’t that something,” smirked Bud Black.

It’s a rotation that includes a quartet of home-grown talent; German Marquez, Freeland, Antonio Senzatela and Jon Gray. 

Opening Day for the Rockies this year is scheduled for Thursday, April 1 against the defending World Series champions’ Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field.