• Most likely the Rockies will break with five outfielders, and 2013 All-Stars Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer and trade acquisition Drew Stubbs will be three, barring injury. Three other young outfielders had significant big league time last year -- Brandon Barnes, Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson. Also, non-roster invitee Jason Pridie has seen a good amount of big league time, and one of the team's top prospects is Parker, who plays first base and outfield.
It's a depth situation that Weiss sees as a positive, even though some of the contestants will begin the year at Triple-A Colorado Springs. But last season, when injuries hit, the Rockies had less experience to turn to, and had to turn to youth.
"We're set up to handle some things a little bit better than we were last year, because we're a little bit deeper," Weiss said. "The tough thing is all those guys are big league players and they all play the game the right way, so it's going to be tough. You have to take into consideration how the team is designed, the ability to match up and all those things that are factors. When I look at the overall club, our Plan B is a lot better than it was last year."
• Looking at history, the Rockies can keep Gonzalez in left field if the left-right platoon for the open outfield spot is Blackmon and Stubbs. Dickerson, considered more of a corner outfielder, is competing with Blackmon for left-handed at-bats. But Weiss, who threw Dickerson into center for 15 games last season, believes Dickerson can will himself into becoming a usable center fielder.
"Even in center field, I kind of fed him to the wolves out there, and he hadn't played center in a long time, I thought he handled it very well," Weiss said. "He's worked on his throwing, and everyone that's seen him so far says he's throwing much better. He's a worker who works at every aspect of his game. He's a guy that takes pride in his defense."
• Much of the offseason talk was whether catcher Wilin Rosario could move to first base on some of the occasions when Walt Weiss wants to rest Justin Morneau -- especially against a tough left-handed starting pitcher. But those times figure to be limited, with Cuddyer able to move to first base and with the team needing to find playing time for outfielders.
And Rosario's ability to play first also is a factor. He appeared at first four times, including three starts, and made two errors last season, and had an error in his only first base appearance in 2012. He has much to learn at first.
"I don't know if it's a priority, but he'll get plenty of work at first -- he'll get ground balls and we'll try to get him some action in the game over there," Weiss said.