The in-house favorite for the job is rookie Jayson Nix, a supplemental draft after the first round in 2001, the Rockies' first selection that year. He was selected with a compensation choice Colorado received for right-hander Matt Harrington, their first-round draft choice in 2000 who did not sign.
Nix is considered an elite defensive player. He has been inconsistent offensively, but he finished the 2007 season well at Class AAA Colorado Springs, then was selected the MVP of the World Cup in Taiwan, helping Team USA win the event for the first time in 30 years.
The other in-house candidates are Clint Barmes, the team's Opening Day shortstop in 2005 and 2006, and Omar Quintanilla, who gives the Rockies a left-handed option. Third basemen Ian Stewart and Jeff Baker also have worked at second base in the offseason with the idea they could be possibilities.
Stewart would seem most likely headed back to Colorado Springs for a second season. The Rockies would like him to put together an impact season. He would be the primary third baseman for the Sky Sox but could get time at second base, too, if the Rockies feel that experiment is worth continuing. A year ago, Stewart worked out in the outfield, and the Rockies are confident he could make that move if need be.
The Rockies, meanwhile, are looking for insurance. They have been in discussions with veterans Marcus Giles and Todd Walker. They would give either one a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
BY THE NUMBERS: 20 -- Wins in September by the Rockies, the seventh time in 15 years that a big-league team won at least 20 in the final month of the season. The 1995 Yankees, 2000 A's and 2002 Cardinals all won 21 in September.
The 2007 Rockies, 1999 Orioles, 2000 Giants and 2004 Astros had 20-win Septembers. The Rockies had a winning record in every month except April last season, a franchise record.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "They had a tremendous season, not only in terms of wins and losses but how it's reflected on their player development system." -- San Diego CEO Sandy Alderson on the Rockies winning the NL pennant in 2007.