Tracy has strong arms in outfield

Tracy has strong arms in outfield

ST. LOUIS -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy is excited about the throws he's going to see from his outfielders, thanks to the addition of top prospect Carlos Gonzalez.

"With a Gonzalez, a [Dexter] Fowler and Brad Hawpe in your outfield, you have three above-average throwing arms, and not to mention there's a lot of ground to be covered by those guys," Tracy said.

That was what Tracy planned to do Friday night against the Cardinals. But he has all his outfield weapons in place for Saturday night's second of four games at Busch Stadium.

The challenge for Tracy, however, will be to juggle five outfielders.

The Rockies went into this year ready to give Ryan Spilborghs a shot at everyday duty in center field. Spilborghs has generally performed well, with occasional power. But Fowler's emergence in center and as a leadoff man early this season forced him to left field, where he has shared time with Seth Smith. Now Gonzalez is here and will receive regular turns in left.

"I do have the capability to move players around to different places that really make sense for their abilities," Tracy said. "Maybe we've put Ryan Spilborghs in a really, really good place. The abilities we'd like to see from day-to-day, maybe we've had him in a place where his abilities don't have a chance to come out the way they're capable of. But we'll see."

Tracy noted that Gonzalez's ability to play center gives Tracy an opportunity to rest Fowler and use Spilborghs or Smith in a corner.

Pitching matchup
COL: RHP Aaron Cook (3-3, 4.94 ERA)
In a 4-1 loss at Houston in his last start, Cook kept the Rockies close until the sixth inning, when Carlos Lee lined a sinker over the left-field wall for a big two-run homer. Cook's best inning may have been the fourth, when he gave up just one run with runners on first and third and no outs. All but one of the outs in play and many of the nine hits were on the ground.

STL: RHP Todd Wellemeyer (5-5, 5.05 ERA)
Monday brought another frustrating start for Wellemeyer, who just can't seem to build any momentum. He has yet to string together three consecutive good starts, and that's discouraging not only to him but to a team that was hoping he'd build on an excellent 2008 season. He does seem to have conquered the early-innings problem he had in April and part of May. Now, he just needs to do a better job of keeping it together when things start to turn against him.

Tidbits
The Rockies' nine-run seventh inning on Friday eclipsed by one run the previous club record for a road game -- set twice, April 8, 2005, in the seventh inning of a 10-8 loss to the Giants, and Oct. 7, 2001, in the fourth inning of a 14-5 victory over the Padres. It was the most they've scored in an inning of any game since scoring nine in the fifth inning of a 9-2 victory over the Phillies at Coors Field on July 31, 2005. ... Center fielder Fowler fouled a pitch off his right calf and first baseman Todd Helton fouled a pitch off his shin on Friday, but neither was hurt enough to affect participation in Saturday's game. ... Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who hasn't played since suffering a left wrist contusion Wednesday, went through batting practice Friday. Tracy said Tulowitzki is fine.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN

On radio
• KOA 850

Up next
• Sunday: Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez, 3-6, 4.11) at Cardinals (Joel Pineiro, 5-5, 3.86), 12:15 p.m. MT
• Monday: Rockies (Jason Marquis, 7-4, 4.10) at Cardinals (Brad Thompson, 0-1, 4.12), 12:15 p.m. MT
• Tuesday: Rockies (Jason Hammel, 2-3, 4.50) at Brewers (Braden Looper, 5-3, 4.65), 6:05 p.m. MT

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