Helton back in Rockies' lineup

Helton back in Rockies' lineup

DENVER -- First baseman Todd Helton came off the 15-day disabled list Sunday and was in the Rockies' lineup. First baseman/third baseman Ryan Wheeler was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Helton last played April 19 and had been sidelined with a left forearm strain. He was eligible to be activated Sunday after being placed on the disabled list April 25 retroactive to April 20. Helton entered Sunday's game hitting .268 (11-for-41) with three doubles, one homer and 10 RBIs in 13 games. He injured his forearm while taking a swing in a game April 16.

Helton began the season 2-for-21 with two singles and two RBIs in his first six games but had since gone 9-for-20 before his stretch on the disabled list, which tested the patience of his teammates and Weiss' coaching staff.

"He has been driving us crazy," Weiss said. "At some point about halfway through his DL stint here in the dugout, I tried to get [head trainer Keith Dugger] to hit him with a tranquilizing dart. But it's good to have him back out there. It'll be nice watching him take [at-bats] again, doing his thing."

The Rockies acquired Wheeler in the offseason from the D-backs for left-handed reliever Matt Reynolds. Wheeler began the season at Colorado Springs, and in six games with the Rockies, including one start, went 1-for-9 (.111) with a double.

Jack Etkin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.