Backup catcher Nieves serving as mentor

Backup catcher Nieves serving as mentor

ARLINGTON -- The Rockies asked backup catcher Wil Nieves to improve his situational hitting when they sent him to Triple-A Colorado Springs to start the season. Nieves entered his rare start Saturday with a .333 batting average in limited playing time since being called up May 25.

Asked how Nieves -- who started Saturday against the Rangers as Wilin Rosario rested -- has done with the specific points that come with batting low in the order, Rockies manager Jim Tracy said, "He's conscious of them. When you're getting a start once every four days, any measure of offensive consistency is a little bit of a stretch to expect it to be perfect."

But the main job of Nieves -- who has played in the Majors for the Yankees, Nationals, Brewers and Rockies -- is to take over for the injured Ramon Hernandez in helping Rosario, a rookie, learn the mental game, as well as help some of the Rockies' younger pitchers.

"Wil Nieves is in the big leagues and has been in the big leagues not because of anybody sitting around on a day-in, day-out basis and raving about his offensive prowess," Tracy said. "It's moreso his capability of taking a pitcher with whatever he has on a given day and trying to get that out of him."