The joys and pains of spring

The Spring Training opener saw Rockies outfielder Seth Smith hit a single, a double and a three-run homer. On Friday in his second appearance, however, Smith was the hit-ee, not the hitter.

Giants reliever Brian Wilson drilled him in the right knee with what Smith said, laughing, was “a hard slider.”

Smith is in and out of the starting linuep during the regular season, so he wants to start anytime he can. But Saturday, he gladly took a rest. Although he said he could have played had it been a regular-season game, he was not listed on the lineup at all for the Rockies’ home Cactus League opener against the Brewers.

Guys like Smith, who is one of the game’s best pinch-hitters but is capable of starting for many teams, like getting regular at-bats in Spring Training games. But Smith said the opportunities defensively are just as important.

“It’s different,” Smith said. “You have a hard time simulating before an actual game. It’s tough to get the ball off the bat a lot. It’s good to get out there at game speed, at game time.”

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