Notes: Lawrence working his way back

Notes: Lawrence working his way back

PHOENIX -- Rockies right-hander Brian Lawrence met with manager Clint Hurdle on Friday, but no decision was reached on his next step in his return from the shoulder surgery that cost him last season.

Lawrence has thrown two rehab games -- the first went well but not the second -- for Triple-A Colorado Springs and is eligible to return on Monday. Lawrence can decline further Minor League assignments, but the Rockies aren't obligated to activate him.

"We're still talking through some possibilities, nothing definitive has come of it," Hurdle said. "We all feel it's an important issue. We have a very good understanding of where we are. We obviously know his desires. Nothing's ruled out."

The Rockies would have to find a spot on the active roster and decide whether Lawrence fits in the rotation or the bullpen when he is activated. They have explored trading right-handed reliever Byung-Hyun Kim. The Rockies' rotation has performed well, so there isn't an easy spot there.

Since being put on a five-day schedule during Spring Training, Lawrence has said he feels ready. Sitting out is difficult for him.

"Honestly, I don't know; I'm really frustrated right now," Lawrence said when asked what his next step will be.

Lawrence performed well against the Rockies while with the Padres from 2001-05. He was traded to the Nationals before last season but did not pitch because of the shoulder injury, which flared early in the spring.

"Over the winter, I've had extreme interest in him," Hurdle said. "We want to see him pitch in a Rockies uniform."

Lineup changes: Steve Finley, one of the D-backs' stars when they won the 2001 World Series, started in center field and batted leadoff in place of Willy Taveras, who hit .148 with a .233 on-base percentage through his first seven appearances.

"I'm looking for maybe some veteran leadership on offense, stabilize some things," Hurdle said. "It's just basically matchups and managing. I look way past the game we're playing today when we put lineups together."

Hurdle said he'll go back to Taveras on Saturday night against right-hander Livan Hernandez, since Taveras has a .364 average (4-for-11) against him, and on Sunday afternoon against left-hander Doug Davis.

The Rockies also started left-handed-hitting John Mabry at third base to match up with D-backs ace Brandon Webb, and give Garrett Atkins his first game off from the starting lineup this season. Hurdle said he soon will rest left fielder Matt Holliday, the only regular to have started every game.

Yorvit Torrealba, batting .333 through his first three games, started at catcher instead of rookie Chris Iannetta, who hit .143 through his first six games.

Hurdle feels the influence: Rockies right-hander LaTroy Hawkins will wear Jackie Robinson's No. 42 on Sunday, when Major League Baseball celebrates the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier. Hurdle said no player has escaped Robinson's influence.

"It should mean a lot for everyone wearing the uniform, and for all the right reasons," Hurdle said. "I read Ralph Branca's book last summer. He had a lot of great insights into Jackie's tenure with the Dodgers, the early days. The more you read, the more you're able to pull from it.

"You talk about challenges. You talk about adversity. It's something I'll never see and never have put in front of me to deal with."

Up next: Right-hander Aaron Cook (0-0, 3.60 ERA) will meet Hernandez at 7:40 p.m. MT on Saturday.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.