"Rockies' message loud, clear to this trio" via Troy Renck

Text. Tweet. E-mail. There are countless ways to send messages today.

Yet sometimes the strongest are delivered without doing anything. The Rockies didn't sign a new catcher, didn't trade for a slugging out-fielder, never considered landing an everyday third baseman.

It was uncomfortable silence for many fans, but clearly a strong vote of confidence for Chris Iannetta, Seth Smith and Ian Stewart. The Rockies believe, white knuckles crossed, that the trio can rebound from disappointing seasons.

Before a monsoon swirled through Salt River Fields on Saturday, manager Jim Tracy discussed the topic.

"We made a statement," he said.

Colorado wants Iannetta to be an everyday guy. If he's good, the team's better. It also gives the Rockies trade options with prospect Willin Rosario's footsteps getting louder every minute. The Rockies want Stewart to be a core, middle-of-the-order bat. They want Smith to hit second and play left field.

The players know it.

"I have never burned more than I do now to be an everyday player. It's time for me to step up. It's all there for me," said Smith, who's eager to get plenty of at-bats against left-handers in spring training. "It's just whether I take it or not. I am ready to do it."

The open secret is that the three have jobs to lose. The dirty little secret is that patience is at a premium, particularly for Smith and Stewart. The Rockies didn't bring in Ty Wiggington to spend more time on the bench than Judge Judy. This guy can hit. He has power too.

So, if Stewart and Smith fail against left-handers — neither has hit them well over the past two seasons — Wigginton will play. Heck, if first baseman Todd Helton resembles the player he was during the first half of last season, he's going to have trouble reaching five starts a week.

This is what good teams do. They acquire depth to cover weaknesses.

A compelling argument can be made that the Rockies should have addressed at least one of the positions — catcher, corner outfielder and third base — with a clear starter. They chose a course that meshes with their business model — "Kids, come one, come all, get your chance at the big leagues" — while providing a rip cord.

Don't overlook how much fiery Carney Lansford influenced this decision. His priority as the Rockies' new hitting instructor is to unlock the potential of Iannetta, Smith and Stewart. To light the Bunsen burner underneath their seats.

With last season as evidence, you can cover liabilities for only so long. Melvin Mora and Jason Giambi filled in admirably, but they were never intended to play as much as they did.