Monday Rockpile: Absences & Opportunities for Rockies

Troy Renck had two blog entries yesterday. The first tells us that Jason Grilli and Yorvit Torrealba didn't participate in yesterday's workout due to death in their families.

The second entry offers some quick hits after Renck spent some time in the clubhouse. Renck seems certain that Jeff Francis will opt for surgery this week if his condition doesn't get any better.

And after reading the note on him, does anyone want to give the nickname "The Teacher" to Randy Flores?

Also, Greg Reynolds dropped eight pounds, looking leaner to Renck. Reynolds has the worst odds out of all the contenders for the fifth spot in the rotation in RIngolsby's article on the competition. Those odds reflect what Rox Girl termed yesterday "the best case scenario from a fans' standpoint." Morales, like Reynolds, looks leaner.

Patrick Saunders' blog entry offers some quotes from Jim Johnson, the Rockies’ roving hitting instructor, on Eric Young, Jr. and Michael McKenry.

Ian Stewart is ready to show what he can do in left field, and Clint Hurdle is right there with him:

Manager Clint Hurdle told the 23-year-old Sunday there would be no training wheels in the outfield experiment.

"I don't want to get babied into it, where I just practice and maybe toward the end of spring get in some games. I would rather get out there right away, and if I can do it, great, let's roll with it," Stewart said after a workout at gloomy Hi Corbett Field. "If I can't, let's shut it down early and I'll focus on the infield work."

Stewart also doesn't want it to affect his mindset when at the plate:

"I can't worry about getting burned on a flyball so much that it affects my hitting," Stewart said. "Last year I played second without much (warning), and it was fun. I had nothing to lose. That's how the outfield is going to be. I am going to be nervous, but I look forward to this."

But this season Ian Stewart has something to lose: playing time. And the Rockies have something to lose: Stewart's bat. Maybe Stew's father-in-law can do something like this to get his son-in-law playing time:


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