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Former Rockie Burks giving input to '14 club

Former Rockie Burks giving input to '14 club

CINCINNATI -- Onetime Rockies star outfielder Ellis Burks, a special guest instructor during Spring Training, has joined the team at Great American Ball Park to observe the club and help with fundamentals.

Burks, a player for parts of five seasons in Colorado, spent several seasons as a special front-office assistant with the Indians, and he is doing similar work on a part-time basis with the Rockies. He will join the club when it travels to Cleveland next month, spend time in Denver and also lend a hand to the Minor League system. It is similar to the work manager Walt Weiss did a few years back and that Vinny Castilla is doing on a full-time basis.

Burks is around this weekend in case hitting coach Blake Doyle or first-base coach Eric Young need an extra set of eyes and ears. He is also available to critique players.

Burks said he respected administration and statistical analysis as being essential to an organization but that those were outside his skill set. However, he can provide a voice when it comes to talent and coachability.

"If you're a pretty good player and you've been around the game a number of years, you sort of know what to expect out of certain players and what to expect each and every day what an organization would like to see out of certain guys," Burks said. "That's what I do, so that ownership and management know exactly what I feel about a particular guy.

"If you don't have the talent to play the game, you're not going to play the game. Guys like me can go out and say, 'This is a player and he can help the organization.'"

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. 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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