HOUSTON -- Rockies September callup Jordan Pacheco started Thursday night's game against the Astros at second base -- his third position in the starting lineup.Pacheco, 25, an infielder in college at New Mexico and early in his pro career, moved to catcher in 2008 and played there most of this season at Triple-A Colorado Springs. But he began playing third base just before his promotion. "I've had conversation with [third-base coach and infield instructor] Richie Dauer from the standpoint of the comfort level and his readiness to do it," manager Jim Tracy said. "No issues in regard with that, so we're going to move forward. It gives us a chance to spell Mark Ellis for a day or so and not feel like we're grinding him, and we get another opportunity to take a look at Jordan Pacheco." Pacheco went 7-for-25 (.280) with a home run and three RBIs during the team's last homestand, and was one of few bright spots as the Rockies went 0-7. Pacheco has nine RBIs in 14 Major League games.
Rockies shut down Helton; CarGo in doubt
HOUSTON -- Rockies first baseman Todd Helton is likely done for the season because of his sore back, and it's not certain if outfielder Carlos Gonzalez will return either, manager Jim Tracy said Thursday.Helton last played on Sept. 13 after missing three games before that with back soreness, an issue that has beset him for years and one he managed well enough throughout the season to appear in 124 games and hit .302 with 14 home runs and 69 RBIs. Last year, he appeared in 118 games and struggled to .256 with one home run and eight RBIs. "There's absolutely nothing wrong with his back, yet we're not going to send Todd Helton out there with seven games left and run the risk of doing something that quite possibly could run into 2012," Tracy said. "That would be a ridiculous move on our part to do something like that. "You look at the season that he's had. And you couple that with the fact that when he had to have a day off here and there -- and he's been absolutely terrific in the understanding of that from the health side of things -- Jason Giambi gets involved. You add all that up. You're certainly not going to squawk at all about the offensive production that you've gotten from that position." Gonzalez suffered a third right wrist injury last week against the Giants and has not played since. Gonzalez also didn't make the trip to Houston with the team after Wednesday's 4-0 home loss to the Padres because of a wisdom tooth procedure. Tracy said Gonzalez is expected to rejoin the club Friday. Gonzalez has a .295 batting average with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs this season, after winning the National League batting crown last year.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.