Weiss: Arenado among game's elite

Rockies third baseman on a roll at plate this spring

Weiss: Arenado among game's elite

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's only spring, but Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is hitting .606 through 12 games.

.606?

He singled and doubled in three at-bats in Sunday afternoon's 10-4 loss to the Giants.

His batting average isn't worth much now, but it gives manager Walt Weiss cause to laud a player who might not receive his due because of the team's poor record and the market size. With 42 home runs last year and three straight Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, Weiss said it's time for folks to consider Arenado alongside the Nationals' Bryce Harper (who tied Arenado for the National League home run title last year) and the Angels' Mike Trout as the young faces of the sport.

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"There are a lot of great young players in the game right now," Weiss said. "It's really an exciting time. Nolan is one of those guys. He has to be in that conversation about the best young players in the game. He's 24 years old, he's already got three Gold Gloves and already hit 40-plus home runs in a season."

Hale set for game action:

Righty David Hale is scheduled for 30-35 pitches Monday against the Rangers, after finally recovering from a right hamstring injury. It isn't clear if he'll be built up enough to be considered for a rotation job to start the season, but he can be optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

The hamstring was the latest in a series of non-arm injuries for him since the Rockies acquired him from the Braves for infielder Jose Briceno and catcher Chris O'Dowd before last season. An oblique strain near the end of Spring Training cost him a chance to make the team last year, and he suffered a right groin injury during a season that saw him go 5-5 with a 6.09 ERA in 17 games, including 12 starts.

Worth noting

• Righty Miguel Castro struck out one in a spotless ninth Sunday in which he overmatched the Giants' late-game hitters. Weiss said he is considering using Castro -- part of last year's Troy Tulowitzki trade with the Blue Jays -- earlier, but he may not have to. Opposing regulars will be playing longer in the coming days.

• Lefty reliever Boone Logan checked out fine Sunday, after making his first Cactus League appearance on Saturday. Logan, who had not pitched because of left elbow soreness, originally was slated to pitch Sunday, but Weiss said the Rockies thought better of pitching him on consecutive days.

• Non-roster lefty Yohan Flande struck out two in his one inning, and has nine strikeouts in eight scoreless spring innings. He and fellow non-roster lefty Jason Gurka, with 13 strikeouts in six innings, are making Opening Day roster bids.

• Left-handed starter candidate Chris Rusin, out since the start of the Cactus League schedule with left middle finger inflammation, faced hitters for the first time Sunday. He is likely to begin the regular season on the 15-day disabled list.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.