Notes: Taveras nearly ready to go
Leadoff hitter to test quad Tuesday; Hurdle also on the mend
DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Willy Taveras' troublesome right quadriceps muscle is feeling good enough that he's scheduled for a full game in instructional ball at the club's complex in Tucson, Ariz. Now, to get manager Clint Hurdle feeling better.
Hurdle checked out early on Monday, before the team took to Coors Field for a workout in preparation for Thursday night's 6:37 p.m. MT start of the National League Championship Series against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Hurdle was suffering from flu-like symptoms.
Taveras batted .320 with a .367 on-base percentage, both career bests, and was 33-for-42 on stolen-base attempts as the Rockies' leadoff hitter. But he went to the disabled list Aug. 15-31 with the quad injury, and the pain recurred after his return.
"Tomorrow, which is Tuesday, he is supposed to play nine innings, then we'll evaluate and see how he's doing," Rockies bench coach Jamie Quirk said.
Quirk said Hurdle's wife and young daughter have been ill recently, and now it's his boss' turn, so he was sent home for rest.
The Rockies have another workout scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, which the team hopes Hurdle is well enough to attend, before a flight to Phoenix on Tuesday night.
The Rockies will work out at Chase Field on Wednesday.
Taveras was not on the roster for the Rockies' three-game sweep of the Phillies in the NL Division Series. There was no word Monday on the roster for the NLCS.
Other decisions: Right-hander Aaron Cook, who started for the Rockies against the D-backs on Opening Day, hasn't pitched in the Majors since Aug. 10 because of an oblique strain.
He threw a bullpen session at Coors on Monday, but was waiting to hear officially when the Rockies want him to pitch in instructional ball before they make a decision about whether to activate him. If he throws Wednesday, as has been reported, he would be in line for Game 4 at Coors Field on Monday.
Cook (8-7, 4.12 ERA) said he felt no pain in a simulated game Friday.
After being placed on the 60-day disabled list, Cook noted that he would have been eligible to return during the NLCS and worked as if it was going to happen that way.
"I had a pretty good feeling," Cook said. "I don't know if I could say 100 percent I really knew the way it [would work out]. But I've been preparing the whole time. I haven't let up. I haven't backed off.
"It's going to be a decision that Clint and 'Dac' [pitching coach Bob Apodaca] and Dan [O'Dowd, the Rockies' general manager] are going to have to make, but I'm feeling healthy."
Righty Jason Hirsh (5-7, 4.81 ERA), out since Aug. 7 with a fractured right fibula, also is awaiting a decision on whether he'll be activated.
Had the Rockies not made the playoffs, Hirsh would have been at Invesco Field at Mile High on Sunday helping his favorite team, the San Diego Chargers, against the Denver Broncos.
Hirsh would have returned to his role of delivering still pictures to coaches so they could look at alignments and plan strategy. He worked for the Chargers in that capacity last year after completing the baseball season with the Astros, who traded him to the Rockies in December.
Quick look back: Left-hander Jeff Francis, expected to start Game 1, lost to the D-backs and their ace, Brandon Webb, in his final regular-season start, on Sept. 28. Francis gave up four runs and six hits in six innings of a 4-2 loss at Coors Field. Conor Jackson hit a two-run homer in the third.
"I think I struggled with a bit of command with all my pitches," Francis said. "The home run to Jackson was a pitch I left over the middle [of the plate], but I think I battled. I executed some pitches in some situations that could've gotten ugly."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.