July 3, 2008 4:11 PM
Todd Helton, who left Wednesday's game in the eighth inning, is not in the lineup due to a sore lower back.
Manager Clint Hurdle said, "As we move forward, I just think there's going to be days we take more liberally, and he's good with it. But this is something we need to calm down."
Helton has gone 14-for-77 in his past 22 games to drop from .295 on June 6 to .266. Hurdle said while there is no doubt the back issues have affected Helton's swing, "What I still have trouble in transferring from is to watch his early workouts, to watch his (batting) cage work with the force and intensity he swings the bat and to watch hit go into the game. Sometimes it doesn't translate. Whether that's the back or whether that's game-related, I'm not sure, and he's not sure at times."
Jeff Baker replaced Helton at first base, making his fifth start there this season. Hurdle said, "We'll give him the opportunity a few games to see what he can do over there," which suggests that Helton will not be back in the lineup Friday.
Second baseman Clint Barmes, who didn't play the past three games is back in the lineup and hitting second. It's the first time he's batting in that spot since he came off the disabled list June 23.
RF Hawpe (L)
LHP Redman (L)
RF Hermida (L)