Weiss: Roster decisions to be based on early games

Weiss: Roster decisions to be based on early games

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Manager Walt Weiss said that the makeup of the Opening Day roster is still unsettled with a little more than a week left in Spring Training.

The next several days will determine whether the Rockies will begin the season with five starting pitchers or four (they don't need a fifth until April 14), or eight relievers or seven. About all that's known is that the bench will have to be versatile; the ability of catcher Wilin Rosario to play first base, for example, will be key.

It's highly unlikely that the tightness in Jorge De La Rosa's left groin will be healed in time for him to start the home opener, as was scheduled. It would seem that April 14 is a logical time to bring him off the disabled list, but Weiss said the plan is to take whatever time is needed to make sure the groin is fully healed before putting him in a game. Weiss added that the team has barely begun discussing alternate plans for the home opener.

Roster structure and rotation structure will be based on the early schedule.

"This is not the be-all, end-all," Weiss said. "Whatever roster we break with is probably going to be intact for the first 10 days. I understand there's going to be a lot of focus on what the roster is when we break here. At the same time, we still maintain a bird's-eye view."

Weiss said that rewarding a player for a good spring performance -- some of the rotation candidates, infielders Cristhian Adames and Rafael Ynoa, and outfielder Kyle Parker come to mind -- is not a priority.

"It has to make sense," he said. "There are other ways to reward somebody -- keeping them in camp all the way until the end. It's the design of the roster, how we're attacking the first couple weeks. We may need protection in one area, which means somebody's an odd man out."

• With the Rockies playing the Athletics in Minor League games, Justin Morneau alternated between two of the contests and went a combined 4-for-5 with a double. Morneau has missed time with a sore left elbow and was just looking for at-bats to hone his timing, especially on inside pitches.

Utility infielder Daniel Descalso, coming back from an injured right oblique, went 2-for-4, and Charlie Culberson, recovering from a bulging disk in his lower back, went 1-for-4 with a double.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.