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Colvin sent to Minors as Rockies set roster

SALT LAKE CITY -- The versatility of Jordan Pacheco, Eric Young Jr. and Jonathan Herrera, plus a rough spring offensively, added up to a surprise demotion to Triple-A for outfielder-first baseman Tyler Colvin, as the Rockies on Friday announced their 25-man active roster for Monday's season opener at Milwaukee.

The completed Rockies, under first-year manager Walt Weiss, will be on display in an exhibition game against the Mariners at Spring Mobile Ballpark in Salt Lake City at Saturday at 1:05 p.m. MT.

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Colvin hit .290 with 18 home runs and 72 RBIs last year after receiving extended playing time because of various slumps and injuries, and avoided arbitration by signing for one year at $2.275 million this past offseason.

But this spring, Colvin batted .167 with two doubles and one RBI and struck out 14 times in 48 at-bats. Toward the end of Spring Training, he was playing Minor League games in an attempt to find his stroke. The decision means he will continue trying to find a groove in Colorado Springs.

Pacheco, who plays first base, infield and catcher, and led National League rookies with a .309 batting average last year, can start at first base when 39-year-old first baseman Todd Helton rests. After following up his 2012 by hitting .378 in the spring, getting Pacheco in the lineup is sure to be a priority for Weiss. Young won a job and made himself a candidate for periodic starts in the outfield, or occasionally the infield, by hitting .327 and compiling a .370 on-base percentage this spring.

Herrera was thought to be the odd man out of the infield with the Rockies liking the work of Reid Brignac, whom they obtained in a trade with the Rays for his ability to play shortstop, among other positions. However, Herrera, who receives high marks for fundamentals with the bat, has played the outfield in past Spring Trainings and in winter ball in Venezuela and can go there in a pinch.

In other moves, the Rockies purchased the contracts of right-handed pitcher Chris Volstad, who nosed out Manny Corpas for a middle-relief job, and catcher Yorvit Torrealba, whom the Rockies preferred over Ramon Hernandez.

To clear spots on the 40-man Major League roster -- a necessity when purchasing contracts of players who came to camp under Minor League contracts -- the Rockies designated Hernandez and right-handed reliever Will Harris for assignment. The Rockies have 10 days to trade them, release them or assign them outright to the Minors.

Volstad, 26, has been a starter with the Marlins and Cubs -- 35-51 with a 4.87 ERA while starting all but one of his 124 big league appearances from 2008-12 -- but late in camp, the Rockies switched him to middle relief. Volsad finished Spring Training with a 3.00 ERA in seven games, with four strikeouts and no walks. Corpas, the closer in 2007 who was Volsad's teammate with the Cubs last year, posted a 7.04 ERA in seven Cactus League games, and gave up six runs in his final five appearances.

Volstad will join right-handers Adam Ottavino (5-1, 4.56 ERA in 53 games last season) and Edgmer Escalona (0-1, 6.04 in 22 games last season; 1.13 ERA in seven games this spring) in middle relief. Those pitchers will face left-handers or right-handers, and can be called upon to face as few as one batter or pitch multiple innings.

Here is the roster breakdown:

Regulars: C Wilin Rosario, 1B Helton, 2B Josh Rutledge, 3B Chris Nelson, SS Troy Tulowitzki, LF Carlos Gonzalez, CF Dexter Fowler, RF Michael Cuddyer

Bench: C Torrealba, INF-C Pacheco, INF Brignac, INF Herrera, OF-INF Young Jr.

Starting pitchers: RHP Jhoulys Chacin, LHP Jorge De La Rosa, RHP Juan Nicasio, LHP Jeff Francis, RHP Jon Garland

Bullpen: RHP Escalona, RHP Ottavino, RHP Volstad, RHP Matt Belisle, RHP Wilton Lopez, LHP Rex Brothers, RHP Rafael Betancourt

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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