Tracy gives Helton, Hawpe a breather

Tracy gives Helton, Hawpe a breather

DENVER -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy said he was holding first baseman Todd Helton and right fielder Brad Hawpe out of the lineup on Friday against the Giants as a precaution as the two continue to nurse injuries.

Helton has been battling back stiffness and Hawpe suffered bruised ribs while running into the right-field wall in foul territory in Anaheim last week. Helton was 1-for-4 on Thursday, while Hawpe played on Wednesday in San Diego, but not since.

"When you're trying to hit and rotate and use the lower half of the body accordingly, if you have discomfort that way, it doesn't give you the opportunity to be who you're capable of being at home plate," Tracy said of Hawpe.

In Friday's starting lineup, Jason Giambi was at Helton's usual spot at first base.

"We're being somewhat cautious," Tracy said. "There has been a little stiffness that we've dealt with with Helton over the last few days or so. It's not that he couldn't play, but because of what it is that we're dealing with, I just didn't want to take any chances."

Tracy said the disabled list had not been discussed for either player.

"We're about eight days away from an All-Star break," Tracy said, "which is going to do a lot of people in the clubhouse a lot of good."