DENVER - Vinny Castilla, one of the most popular Rockies players ever and now a coach, says, "The long wait is over and we're ready to play baseball."
Castilla spoke to 7SPORTS director Lionel Bienvenu live from home plate at Coors Field during 7NEWS at 11 a.m.
"Every opening day is exciting for the players, for the fans, for everybody in this town," Castilla said. "And you know we've got the best fans in baseball, so it's gonna be a very, very good day for the whole city."
The Rockies, currently 1-3 after opening the season on the road against Miami, will host the Arizona Diamondbacks at 2:10 p.m.
Pitcher Juan Nicasio, who was seriously injured when he was hit by a ball in 2011, will be the starter for the Rockies.
"This guy doesn't have any 'give up' and when he went to camp, he was challenged. He had other guys who wanted his position, so he pitched well in spring training and we're hopeful he has a big game for us tonight and gives us a lot of innings," owner Dick Monfort said about Nicasio.
"We've got a great line up and our pitching, I think, is going to be good this year. And hopefully we go back to Rock-tober this year," Castilla said.
Friday's game will be the first time in 17 years that the team is playing at home without No. 17, Todd Helton. Castilla said, however, that other fan favorites Carlos Gonzales and Troy Tulowitzki were healthy and ready for a successful season.
"I like the mentality of our guys. I think they're going to grind through the tough stuff," manager Walt Weiss said.