Young Rockies bench lacks consistent pinch-hitter

Young Rockies bench lacks consistent pinch-hitter

DENVER -- One feature of the Rockies' high-scoring history has been the presence of productive veteran pinch-hitters. Lenny Harris, Greg Colbrunn, Greg Norton, Mark Sweeney and Jason Giambi all have been big late-innings contributors.

This year's roster has a young bench and lacks that type of hitter.

Manager Walt Weiss can see the day when the Rockies return to using such a player. Because the Rockies sometimes go with 12 pitchers and sometimes go with 13, that player would be a fixture, and the rest of the bench would have to be versatile.

"I do know it's a tough job for a young player, no doubt about it," Weiss said. "It's a tough job for anybody. I think it helps having some guy with some mileage that can deal with that type of an at-bat. We've had a lot of young guys that have been trying to do it this year.

"It's a piece that adds to your club. I don't think you need to make it a focal point of your club, but it's one of those pieces that can help you win a championship. When you had Giambi here, there's a presence that the other manager has to pay attention to when he's figuring out his bullpen. He's got some history with everybody he goes out there against, so maybe it's a little easier to execute a plan."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for 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.