Hurdle shakes up Rockies lineup

Hurdle shakes up Rockies lineup

SAN DIEGO -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle's latest attempt to ignite the offense led him to start Ryan Spilborghs in center field, Clint Barmes at second base and Chris Iannetta at catcher Wednesday night against the Padres.

The lineup changes come on the heels of the club managing just two hits in Tuesday night's 6-0 loss to the Padres.

Before Tuesday's game, manager Clint Hurdle was questioned about using Jayson Nix at second base, especially after Barmes drove in four runs in a victory over the Diamondbacks on Sunday. Hurdle said he thought Nix's at-bats had been competitive.

But Nix's batting average dropped to .161 on Tuesday night, and Hurdle said he and Rockies hitting coach Alan Cockrell saw enough red flags to give Nix a day out of the lineup to correct some issues.

"The three at-bats were kind of uncharacteristic of the at-bats we'd been seeing him have," Hurdle said. "I talked to Alan about it. We looked at a little video during the games in short sequences. We figure if we can get him out [of the lineup], hopefully we could put a stop to it right away.

"It's a work day, not so much an off-day. He came here early and he's been banging away all afternoon."

Hurdle admitted he has difficulty getting enough playing time for Spilborghs and Scott Podsednik. Spilborghs has made two starts in center field and one in right. Podsednik's only start has been in center.

The problem is Matt Holliday has been strong from the beginning in left, and Brad Hawpe has had good at-bats in right. Regular center fielder Willy Taveras has not been as consistent. Still, Taveras has not been out of the lineup often enough for Hurdle to get Spilborghs and Podsednik an ample number of starts.

"I've just got to look for times that I can make it happen," Hurdle said of the challenge of getting his reserves on the field -- infielder-outfielder Jeff Baker falls into the category of a player Hurdle must make sure he doesn't forget. "That's the challenge that I have. I'm going to make sure it gets done, because they all need to play, to some extent."

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