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Rockies vs. Pirates preview: Justin Morneau out for first game after All-Star break

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It just wouldn't be the Rockies without a key player being banged up even after a string of days off.

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Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Ah. Baseball is back. Even if it's bad baseball, few things are a more welcome sight right now considering all of the off-the-field issues recently surrounding the Colorado Rockies.

Of course, it just wouldn't be the Rockies that we all know and love without a key player being banged up. And, sure enough, even though the team hasn't played for five days, that's exactly what they face on Friday with first baseman Justin Morneau being held out of the lineup due to neck stiffness.

Morneau participated in the Home Run Derby last Monday but didn't get past the swing-off portion of the first round. The neck issue is probably unrelated to that, but nonetheless, the 33-year-old veteran will sit in favor of utilityman Charlie Culberson, who gets his first start at first base this season.

All-Star Charlie Blackmon is also sitting, with Walt Weiss instead deciding to go with Corey Dickerson and, of course, lefty killer Drew Stubbs against Pirates southpaw Francisco Liriano. Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado are all thankfully in the lineup, as well.

Amid trade rumors, Rockies lefty Jorge De La Rosa will take the mound. Plenty of eyes should be fixed on the Colorado ace, who could build up his trade value quite well with a couple of good starts between now and the trade deadline.

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for tonight's MLB games. It's $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Here's the link; jump in now!

Here are the full lineups:

Today's Lineups

COLORADO ROCKIES PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Corey Dickerson - LF Gregory Polanco - RF
Drew Stubbs - CF Starling Marte - LF
Carlos Gonzalez - RF Andrew McCutchen - CF
Troy Tulowitzki - SS Russell Martin - C
Nolan Arenado - 3B Neil Walker - 2B
Wilin Rosario - C Gaby Sanchez - 1B
Charlie Culberson - 1B Pedro Alvarez - 3B
DJ LeMahieu - 2B Jordy Mercer - SS
Jorge De La Rosa - LHP Francisco Liriano - LHP