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07/07/08 8:55 PM ET
Taveras back in lineup vs. Brewers
Rox outfielder has been limited to pinch-hitting with hurt quad
By Dave Fultz / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Rockies center fielder Willy Taveras was back in the lineup for Monday night's series opener against the Brewers after having missed some time with a sore left quadriceps muscle. The last game Taveras started was in the Rockies' July 1 win over the Padres at Coors Field. Since then, he's been listed as day-to-day and has pinch-hit twice. Colorado manager Clint Hurdle talked to Taveras on Monday afternoon, and both felt Taveras was up to full speed and it was time he got back into the lineup. "That is the conversation I had with him today, and that's why he is in the lineup," Hurdle said. "We'll have a better opportunity to see [where he's at] when he runs, but I told him that's what I need to see from him to put him back in the lineup." Taveras hurt his quad in that July 1 game, leaving during the fifth inning. He singled, stole second and third base and scored during the inning. He felt the pain in his leg when he returned to the dugout. It is well known that Taveras' speed is his greatest asset. Hurdle knows that without his usually quick legs, Taveras isn't the best option to start in center field. "[We'd be better] with Spilborghs in the lineup," Hurdle said. "But I take [Taveras] at his word. The trainers say he's good to go -- he tested well physically. You've got to give him the opportunity to get out on the playing field." Hurdle said he wouldn't hesitate to make a change if necessary. "If there is any lack of [speed], whether it just be from apprehension or something comes up, then we'll make an adjustment," Hurdle said. Taveras didn't get a chance to test his injured leg in the first inning on Monday, he struck out looking to lead off the game.
Dave Fultz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.