Third basemen need to step up play

Third basemen need to step up play

LOS ANGELES -- As Jim Tracy put it Saturday, third base has been somewhat of a revolving door for the Rockies this season.

Ian Stewart was the Opening Day starter at third and the Rockies hoped the 26-year-old would rise to the occasion and claim the position as his own. Stewart flopped as a starter, however, hitting .156 in 48 games.

Stewart currently is working things out in Triple-A Colorado Springs, and the Rockies have struggled to find an everyday solution at third ever since.

"We wanted Ian Stewart to grab that position and say, 'Hey, it's mine.' That's what we wanted," Tracy said. "[It's] safe to say that we've auditioned a number of different people over there and that's not where we want it to be at 132 games into the season."

Ty Wigginton, Jonathan Herrera, Chris Nelson and recently acquired Kevin Kouzmanoff have all seen action at third, but the position remains an offensive albatross on the Rockies lineup.

Rockies third basemen are hitting a combined .209 with 10 home runs and 43 RBIs this season.

"We're waiting for someone to step up offensively and address that situation because obviously it's very necessary as far as our lineup structure is concerned," Tracy said. "You want to feel like you've got a very competent offensive player hitting behind Todd Helton."

Left fielder Seth Smith was in the six-hole for the Rockies on Saturday, while Kouzmanoff started at third and hit seventh.