Rockies spring training report: Versatile Harold Castro making his mark

Warren Schaeffer, the Rockies’ new third base/infield coach was talking about Harold Castro’s versatility, noting that Castro got the start at first base in Friday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks.

“And he can hit, too,” Schaeffer added during a phone interview.

Castro, who can play every infield position besides catcher, and can also play outfield in a pinch, went 1-for-3 Friday and has now hit in 10 of 11 games for a .414 average (12-for-29).

Castro, 29, slashed .284/.309/.377 over parts of five seasons with Detroit but was non-tendered in the fall and came to spring training as a non-roster invitee.

Injury updates: Two accomplished sluggers, designated hitter/outfielder Charlie Blackmon and first baseman C.J. Cron, are dealing with back issues.

Blackmon hasn’t appeared in a Cactus League game since March 10 because of back soreness. Blackmon has been sidelined longer than the Rockies anticipated but manager Bud Black said he thinks Blackmon “will be fine.”

“I talked to our doctors,” Black told reporters at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz. “They’re not overly concerned. We were hoping to get him back in the lineup this weekend, but it’s going to be a few more days, at least.”

Cron sat out Friday’s game after he was a late scratch for Thursday’s game against the Padres. He experienced back spasms during his morning workout on Thursday.

“It’s one of those things that happen to players, right?” Black said. “There’s a lot of activity going on in the morning, guys getting in baseball shape and guys getting ready for the season. Guys get sore, and you’re a little more cautious knowing that you don’t want that to happen when the season starts.”

Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 2
Friday at Salt River Fields

On the mound: In his third start of spring, right-hander Jose Urena allowed four runs over 4 1/3 innings. He allowed six hits, struck out one and walked one. Urena’s spring ERA is 4.76.

Relievers Brad Hand, Ty Blach and Justin Lawrence each recorded a scoreless inning, with Lawrence striking out the side in the ninth.

At the plate: Center fielder Yonathan Daza went 2-for-2 with a walk and is hitting .353 (12-for-34).

Up next: The Rockies play two games against the Royals in Las Vegas on Saturday (1:10 p.m./2:20 p.m. MDT) and Sunday (1:05 p.m./2:05 p.m. MDT). They will play at Las Vegas Ballpark, home to the Aviators, the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s.

Rockies probable pitchers for Saturday: RHP Ryan Feltner, RHP Pierce Johnson, RHP Dinelson Lamet, LHP Josh Rogers, RHP Nick Mears.

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