Tracy trying to find playing time for Wigginton

Tracy trying to find playing time for Wigginton

Tracy trying to find playing time for Wigginton
DENVER -- Ty Wigginton was the only Rockies position player not to appear in Saturday night's 8-7 loss to the Brewers, but there was an extenuating circumstance.

Catcher Chris Iannetta was ejected in the seventh inning, which forced Eliezer Alfonzo into the game. Wigginton, who has played several infield and outfield positions for the Rockies this season, is the emergency third catcher. He had to sit and wait just in case something happened to Alfonzo.

Wigginton has a long-ago catching background. He has no fear if he has to put on the equipment in a Major League game.

"I did it in Triple-A and I've caught in Spring Training," Wigginton said. "You go back there and do the best you can. Growing up, I was a catcher. I caught some in college [at UNC-Asheville], but I was drafted as a shortstop."

For the most part, however, the challenge for manager Jim Tracy is getting Wigginton into games, not keeping him on the bench. It became tougher when the Rockies recalled original starters Ian Stewart and Dexter Fowler from their exiles in Triple-A Colorado Springs. Still, Wigginton is hitting .252 but with solid run production -- 13 home runs and 38 RBIs, mostly while starting at third base.

The Rockies signed Wigginton to a two-year, $8 million contract to cover them in case of slumps or injuries at several positions. Wigginton, however, took the assignment as a challenge.

"The bottom line is I want to win games," Wigginton said. "My goal has never changed throughout my career. It's my job to make it where the manager can't take me out of the lineup."

Tracy said he will find starts for Wigginton. The opportunities exist, whether it's when he rests Stewart at third base, who is being given a chance to provide the power that the Rockies need; or at second, to avoid wear and tear on Mark Ellis, who has a history of leg muscle injuries; or as a right-handed bat when first baseman Todd Helton sits.

"There's no plan whatsoever to just leaving Ty Wigginton sitting over here," Tracy said.