The Grand Junction Rockies begin the 2017 season when they host Idaho Falls on Monday at Suplizio Field.
Although Opening Day is Monday, many of the Rockies' newest additions were yet to arrive in Grand Junction as of Sunday afternoon. Manager Frank Gonzales says the draft picks that are assigned to Grand Junction should all be in town by Sunday night.
Gonzales does know who his Opening Day starter will be, righty Justin Valdespina will take the mound Monday. Valdespina was in Grand Junction last season, but missed almost all year due to injury. Having been through one season in Grand Junction already, he is hoping to help the new guys adjust as they get into town.
"I was one of them last year so having a whole year under my belt, just building chemistry and knowing how a pro season works," said Valdespina. "I can just give them pointers whenever they need and just help them along the way because I was in their shoes last year."
"That's why I'm only as good as the other four staff members and our trainer and obviously our strength coach," said Gonzales. "Having these guys around with major baseball knowledge and the ability to make people feel relaxed and play the game the way they know how. The reason being that they're here is that they got drafted so we're just going to try to get them to play that way."
First pitch between the Rockies and Chukars is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. Monday at Suplizio Field.