The Colorado Rockies caravan made its way through four states during the past week, reaching Rockies fans in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. Not only were the Rockies able to interact with their fans throughout the Mountain time zone, it also helped all of us know that spring training and the start of the 2017 baseball season really isn’t that far away.
Representing the Rockies on Caravan stops were a multitude of players and new manager Bud Black. We’ve taken a look at some of the articles written during the Caravan and pulled out some of the quotes that we found most interesting. We also threw in a few of the quotes from DJ LeMahieu and Tony Wolters that we didn’t run in our articles on those two players.
If you didn’t read our chat with LeMahieu and his surprise at all of the controversy surrounding his batting title, you can find it here. If you missed our story on Wolters and his goals for 2017, you can find it here.
LeMahieu on Chad Bettis, who can now call himself a cancer survivor after an offseason discovery and subsequent surgery…
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“Obviously it was shocking but I texted him and told him I hoped everything was going alright and that everything was going to be fine. Being around him today, he’s excited to get going and be a baseball player again. We’re all behind him for sure.
“I don’t want to jinx him, but he never gets hurt and he never complains about anything. He just goes out there and gives a great effort. He’s definitely someone who younger guys can look up to now. He’s earned that respect. He’s going to be huge for us.”
Wolters on Bettis…
“The whole team knew about it (his cancer discovery and surgery). He had a big support system. He’s healthy and doing great. At the time, it was scary. That’s our brother. But he’s healthy now and everything is good, plus he’s bringing a life into this world (the birth of his daughter in March). I’m just glad for him.”
By the way, if you missed the emotional interview with Bettis about his battle with testicular cancer, you can read it here.
Wolters on his new manager…
“Bud is awesome. He’s easy to talk to and knows a lot about the game. I’m very excited with what he’s going to do with our team.”
Greg Holland on any worries about pitching at Coors Field…
“No. Once you get to know me, you know I don’t really care. Both teams have to play on the same field. That’s the way I look at it.”
Jon Gray on visiting Grand Junction (Colo.) again, where he started his Rockies career…
“It’s very surreal. It seems bigger than I remember it, the field and everything. It’s very surreal being back. This is the beginning to most of our journeys, we started here. It’s always going to be a special place for us.”
Gray on the outlook for 2017…
“A lot of young guys who have been with me are up now. You kind of saw it unravel the last few years, but with these new additions, it’s going to be a little different,” he said. “It’s going to be electric.”
David Dahl on being back in Grand Junction again…
“This was the trip I was looking forward to the most, coming back to where my career started,” said Dahl, who is the odds-on favorite to start in left field for the Rockies this season. “We had a fun team, Tony (Diaz) was a great manager. I learned a lot that year, how to become a professional, how to get ready for the grind of a long season for years to come.”
Tom Murphy on Colorado’s pitching in 2017…
“I don’t think anybody would be surprised to hear pitching is going to make the difference for us this year. We’ve always swung it pretty well, but pitching is what’s going to carry us, and that’s on Tony (Wolters) and I. The experience we accrued last year at the major league level and the Triple-A level myself, it’s just going to carry over into this year and that makes us that much more comfortable.”