DENVER -- Until he makes his 2010 debut, the lasting impression fans at Coors Field have of Huston Street is his blown save and loss in the final two games of the '09 National League Division Series against the Phillies.
As far as Street is concerned, though, that was a long time and a lot of pain ago. After fighting shoulder inflammation and a groin strain, Street finally appeared on the active roster for the first time Tuesday, before the opener of three games between the Rockies and the Red Sox. Juan Rincon was designated for assignment.
"Last year was gone before November came; this year has been about this year," said Street, who converted 35-of-37 save chances during the regular season last year. "This year has been about 2010, and the frustration that comes with it being June 22, working through the shoulder, getting the shoulder right, then having the groin.
"It makes you appreciate the opportunity you get every single day. I don't think I ever have taken it for granted. I felt going to Spring Training I was as ready as I've ever been. But circumstances are a daily reminder of how special it is."
Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Street won't immediately be shoved into the ninth inning, but he'll slowly be moved back into the role. The Rockies signed Street to a three-year, $22.5 million contract with an option for a fourth year during the offseason to be their closer.
Current closer Manuel Corpas is 9-for-11 in save opportunities, but in his last two outings, he has given up eight runs and six hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Rincon has pitched two stints for the Rockies this season, appearing in one game each time. If Rincon clears waivers, he can return to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Tracy said Rincon, 31, is in a position where he could be brought up and sent down several times, and he has handled it well.