Rockies’ veteran facing likely trade but still takes time to mentor youngsters |

Rockies’ veteran facing likely trade but still takes time to mentor youngsters


DENVER ” The timing didn’t go unnoticed. When the Rockies’ doubleheader with the Florida Marlins was rescheduled for Aug. 8, a teammate joked with Preston Wilson that those games would be played without him.

They occur, after all, after the July 31 trading deadline, which many figure will be Wilson’s last day in a Rockies’ uniform. He is a center fielder with power, but not the centerpiece of a youth movement, leaving him a prime candidate to change addresses in the walk year of his contract.

“I don’t worry about things I don’t control, and I don’t have any control over any of that,” Wilson said. “If it comes up and happens, it does.”

Don’t mistake Wilson’s indifference for lack of interest. He helps the Rockies’ kids as much or more than any other veteran.

According to teammates, he provides positioning tips in between pitches, yells “in or back” when a fly ball is hit and gives scouting reports on hitters.

“When you see the outfielders together during a pitching change, we aren’t talking about the girl in the third row,” right fielder Brad Hawpe said. “He’s reminding us how our pitcher’s strength matches up with their hitters. He’s amazing with that stuff.”

Wilson, who grew up in a baseball family, doesn’t view his contribution as anything abnormal, explaining “that as players you want to do what you can to make the game better when you leave.”

While Todd Helton trade rumors will persist, they are baseless unless the first baseman asks out, something he’s given no indication he will do. That makes Wilson the Rockies’ primary pawn to fill roster needs.

After a slow start, Wilson, appearing fully recovered from two surgeries on his left knee, is hitting .246 with four home runs and 15 RBIs.

“I definitely have (something to prove). But I am not more motivated because I am going to be a free agent,” Wilson said.

Added manager Clint Hurdle: “He’s not going somewhere else until someone tells him to. This is a big year for him, and he has a mature understanding of the situation, and it shows in how he’s handled everything.”

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