Atkins, Taveras hoping to avoid DL

Atkins, Taveras hoping to avoid DL

DENVER -- On a whiteboard in the Rockies' clubhouse, someone drew a sign saying, "Disabled List Inn: No Vacancy." Might as well have fun with the pain that's afflicted the Rockies.

Third baseman Garrett Atkins and center fielder Willy Taveras are hurting, but they certainly don't want to join the crowded DL. Both sat out Saturday's game and weren't in the lineup on Sunday -- Atkins with a stiff neck and Taveras due to a bruised knee.

Atkins was scratched immediately before Saturday's game. He took muscle-relaxing medication in hopes he'd be ready for Sunday. Atkins received treatment on Sunday and said he feels better if he keeps moving -- a challenge, given that the Rockies will be aboard a plane to Philadelphia for several hours after Sunday's game.

"It seems like everything else feels good, except for my neck," Atkins quipped.

Taveras, who banged his knee into the center-field wall on Friday night and left the game after a subsequent at-bat, took batting practice with the club on Sunday morning.

"It feels real good ... I think I can be in the lineup [on Monday]," Taveras said. "I'm available. I was available yesterday, and I'm available today."

If the two aren't ready soon, the DL becomes an option. But with the club this weekend having placed left fielder Matt Holliday (strained left hamstring), shortstop Clint Barmes (sprained right knee) and Brad Hawpe (strained right hamstring) on the DL in the last two days, they want to remain active, if at all possible.

"Of course I want to be out there, especially with Holliday being out now," Atkins said. "We're going to need as many guys as we can get out there. It's frustrating that it all happened at the same time. But it's something we've got to deal with, and we've got some guys in here to pick up the slack."

Taveras said, "It's frustrating, with the way we're playing -- we aren't playing that great. But we're working hard, and it'll get better."

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