Rockies' rotation for first week coming into focus

Rockies' rotation for first week coming into focus

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss still isn't ready to divulge his full rotation for the start of the season. But the club's pitching plans over the next few days could be an indication.

Colorado will follow Opening Day starter Kyle Kendrick -- who faces the Padres in Peoria Friday night -- with Jonathan Gray on Saturday and Jordan Lyles on Sunday. Assuming the three of them get one more Spring Training start on normal rest, that would line up the trio to pitch April 6-8 in Milwaukee.

Kendrick strikes out Cowgill

Given the Brewers' predominantly right-handed lineup, Weiss was asked if he's open to possibly starting the season with three consecutive right-handers.

"I wouldn't have any problem with that," he replied, perhaps cryptically.

Southpaw Tyler Matzek is scheduled to throw a side session on Saturday, and he'll most likely pitch again on Tuesday.

That extra day between Lyles and Matzek could be even more of an indicator of the Rockies' opening-week rotation. They'll also have an off day following the Milwaukee series, before kicking off their home slate against the Cubs.

That would seemingly line up Matzek to start the home opener on April 10, should he continue to throw on normal rest (assuming Jorge De La Rosa hasn't returned from his groin strain).

Weiss acknowledged that there's a bit of extra thought that goes into determining the starting pitcher for the club's home opener.

"The environment that day -- you want to make sure that you're not putting too much on a guy," Weiss said. "It is [a big stage]. So we take those things into consideration. But ultimately it comes down to what's our best chance to win."

With an off day before their home opener, the Rockies won't necessarily need to decide on a fifth starter until April 15 in San Francisco. And by then, De La Rosa may be back in the mix.

On the injury front:

Weiss confirmed that Justin Morneau (sore right elbow), Daniel Descalso (strained right oblique) and Charlie Culberson (back) are all slated to play in Saturday's game against the Cubs.

Morneau played in a Minor League game on Friday. Culberson, meanwhile, hasn't played since he sustained his back injury on March 8.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.