Roster set for Cactus League opener
With the Rockies having to play split-squad games in Scottsdale and Tempe on Friday, several frontline players are getting the day off Thursday when the Cactus League schedule opens against the D-backs at Tucson Electric Park.
Making the short trip across Tucson will be both projected catchers, Chris Iannetta and Miguel Olivo, third baseman Ian Stewart, and outfielders Carlos Gonzalez, Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs. That means first baseman Todd Helton, second baseman Clint Barmes, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, center fielder Dexter Fowler and right fielder Brad Hawpe won’t make it.
Fowler returned to the club after missing two days with a stomach bug. Fowler said he didn’t lose more than a pound or so, but the Rockies told him to take it easy while working out Wednesday and gradually rebuild stamina. Hawpe also is working into condition after missing four days early in camp with an infected ingrown toenail.
Melvin Mora and Eric Young Jr., utility players who will be used in the infield and outfield, will make the trip. Manager Jim Tracy said early in the spring Mora would play third base, where he played last year for the Orioles, but he’ll be worked into other positions, including the outfield and first base. Young played left field in Monday’s intrasquad game, and will see time at third base and center field in addition to his natural positoin of second.