PITTSBURGH -- With right-hander Aaron Cook on the disabled list with a sprained right big toe, the Rockies need a starter for Sunday afternoon's finale of a four-game set with the Pirates. Manager Jim Tracy said he would make an announcement Saturday, but signs point to right-hander Esmil Rogers.

Early speculation centered on Jhoulys Chacin, but he threw 72 pitches over 4 2/3 innings in a loss for Triple-A Colorado Springs against New Orleans on Thursday.

That shifts attention to Rogers, who would have six days of rest. In two earlier stints with the Rockies, Rogers was 1-2 with a 4.85 ERA in five games, including two starts.

Tracy calls meeting to discuss road woes

PITTSBURGH -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy called position players together, but not onto the carpet, before Friday night's game against the Pirates. He called it a "conversation," as opposed to a sermon.

The main topic was the disparity between home and road performance. A 5-1 loss to the Pirates on Thursday night came right after a 5-3 homestand. It was as if none of the momentum made the trip.

With exactly one-third of the season left and the Rockies trailing the Giants in the National League Wild Card race by 5 1/2 games, Tracy wanted to have a reasoned discussion. He reminded the club to look at series and not overemphasize a single disappointing game, like Thursday's loss.

He also asked for thoughts on the differences players see between their approaches at home, where Colorado is 36-19, and on the road, where it's 20-33. One problem has been early deficits, which restricts Tracy's opportunities to be aggressive offensively.

"If I just sit around in my room at night and I'm the only one thinking about it, and I don't voice my opinion accordingly, and what I'd like to see get better over the final third of this season, then I don't feel I'm doing my job," Tracy said. "And please don't misunderstand the get-together.

"It was a conversation among a group of guys that I've seen over the course of this time of the year before. I've witnessed it and I've been a part of it. The capability is there."

Second baseman Clint Barmes said they merely discussed the basics.

"We're going to go out there, try to play good baseball, try not to do too much and try to keep it as simple as possible," Barmes said. "When you keep it simple in this game, that's when a lot of good things can happen."

Of course, it would have been nice for an answer to emerge from the meeting. But no one expected that.

"There aren't any answers," outfielder Dexter Fowler said. "It's life."

Nelson recalled, but unsure for how long

PITTSBURGH -- It's not certain how long infield prospect Chris Nelson will be with the Rockies this time, but for Nelson it's all about what he does with his time on the roster.

Nelson appeared in four games in June this season before being sent back to Triple-A Colorado Springs when the club recalled outfielder Dexter Fowler. The team called him up Thursday as an extra hitter, but by Sunday the team will be adding a pitcher to replace Aaron Cook, who was placed on the disabled list Thursday with a sprained right big toe.

But when not in the Majors, Nelson has excelled, hitting .329 with 11 home runs and 42 RBIs in 63 games with Colorado Springs. He hopes to have an opportunity to make a difference when he plays.

"I was motivated to try to get back here," said Nelson, who was the club's No. 1 pick in 2004 as a shortstop, but has also played at second base and third base this year. "I have a good time when I'm there and enjoy everything, but this is what I want to do. I had a meeting with [manager Jim] Tracy before I left.

"He said Dexter went through it, a lot of guys went through it. He said, 'Keep your bags packed and always be ready, because you never know what's going to happen.' Whatever they need me to do, I'll do it."