Weiss sees role for Francis despite demotion

Weiss sees role for Francis despite demotion

WASHINGTON -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he believed veteran left-hander Jeff Francis could still return to be a factor in the team's season.

Nevertheless, the Rockies announced Thursday that Francis had accepted an option to Triple-A Colorado Springs. The Rockies needed to make room on the active roster for Thursday night's starting pitcher, Roy Oswalt. To clear the required spot on the 40-man Major League roster, the Rockies outrighted right-hander Chris Volstad to Colorado Springs. Volstad had been optioned there.

"I'm glad Jeff is still with us," Weiss said. "He's meant so much to this organization. At some point, Jeff's going to be able to help us again."

Francis was 2-5 with a 6.58 ERA in 11 starts with the Rockies.

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.