© 2006 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
05/28/06 4:18 PM ET
Notes: Spilborghs returns to Rockies
Gonzalez goes on DL with wrist inflammation; Atkins bats fifth
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- The phone call came once again for outfielder Ryan Spilborghs, summoned to the Rockies on Sunday because second baseman Luis Gonzalez went to the disabled list with wrist inflammation. But Spilborghs insists that he and the other guys at Triple-A Colorado Springs weren't hanging by the telephone, despite the injuries and struggles of the big club. "Being in Triple-A, you have to be prepared for whatever," Spilborghs said. "But this is just a small stretch. The guys in Triple-A and the guys in Double-A, we all know it. The guys up here earned their spot, so we just root them on." Still, Spilborghs was ready when the Rockies needed him, and manager Clint Hurdle gave him the "gut start" in center field, No. 2 in the order behind second baseman Jamey Carroll, on Sunday as the Rockies attempted to avoid being swept in a three-game set with the Giants. Spilborghs, 26, has functioned well in an emergency role over the last two years. He was with the Rockies from April 22 to May 4 and batted .400 (4-for-10) with four walks, including 3-for-7 as a pinch-hitter. He batted .317 in 36 games at Colorado Springs, with hits in 13 of his last 14. Spilborghs avoids wondering if an expanded role is in his future. "I enjoy my role of being able to come up here and do what I can whenever I come here," said Spilborghs, who played center in winter ball in Mexico and has played it consistently at Colorado Springs. "I understand the roster spots and the situations when there's not room. All I can do is wait my turn and keep impressing them." Another shift: Rockies left fielder Matt Holliday demonstrated that the bruised right thumb he suffered Friday night has healed, so he was back in the lineup and batting cleanup in the batting order that Hurdle once again has shuffled. Third baseman Garrett Atkins, moved to the No. 2 spot on May 16 to jump-start the offense, dropped to No. 5 -- his spot at the beginning of the season. Atkins also moved to cleanup a week into the season when Holliday was struggling. Hurdle said he likes Atkins best in the fifth spot. Batting there for much of last season, he led the team with 89 RBIs as a rookie. "We're just trying to get something going," Atkins said. "It was the same as when they moved me to the two-hole. I guess you can take it as a compliment, that they think I'm able to hit in multiple spots in the order and be successful." Right fielder Brad Hawpe moved from fifth to sixth, where he was batting before all of the changes.
Still a mystery: Gonzalez, who has a gout-like condition that flares at inexplicable times, reported that some of the swelling had subsided, but his frustration had not. The Rockies will examine him to see whether allergies are involved. Food and weather haven't been ruled out as culprits. "I don't know. They're saying it could be food, but I don't know -- I don't really eat a lot of different kinds of foods," Gonzalez said. "They're going to send me to the doctors, and maybe they can find something." Rockies head trainer Keith Dugger noted that the one perplexing element of the problem is it has never happened in Gonzalez's native Venezuela. Up next: Right-hander Jason Jennings (5-2, 5.18 ERA) will lead the Rockies in the opener of a three-game set at San Diego on Monday at 7:05 p.m. MT. Mike Thompson (2-0, 3.00 ERA) will start for the Padres.
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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.