While a stranger to home runs, Todd Helton still exudes willpower. He's always felt he could stare down a pitcher, find a weakness and exploit it. Injuries are no different. He takes a shot, rubs some dirt on it, and rolls up his sleeves.

That's who he is, and why he will be in the Hall of Fame conversation when he likely retires after this season. It also explains why Wednesday afternoon Helton retreated to the batting cage at Coors Field during the late innings prepared to pinch hit.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss, who loves Helton's competitiveness, put the first baseman on ice, telling him there was no way he was entering the game against the Atlanta Braves.

It was all risk, no reward. As with his pitchers, Weiss is not going to lose a player for six weeks for one game. So, Helton sat.

And now he's been prescribed complete rest, landing on the disabled list Thursday with a strained left forearm that has limited his ability to hit. Corner infielder Ryan Wheeler was promoted to take his spot and started at third base Thursday night.

"It just bothers my swing. It feels a lot better. It's gotten better. But I am sure with one swing I could be right back where I started," Helton said.

Helton indicated he would not be going on a rehab assignment. He hopes he will be able to come off the disabled list May 5. He will attempt to swing in four to five days.

"It's not the strain that's giving him a problem, it's the inflammation running along the sheath of the tendon," said Rockies trainer Keith Dugger. "It causes irritation. The best course of action is just rest."

Thursday night notwithstanding, Jordan Pacheco will likely get the bulk of playing time at first base in Helton's absence. Pacheco is hitting .316 with one double in 36 at-bats.

The bigger question — at least in social media circles — is why Wheeler instead of top prospect Nolan Arenado? Weiss indicated that the Rockies view Arenado as a middle-of-the-order bat, and don't want him playing sporadically when he's promoted to the big leagues. Chris Nelson remains the starter at third base. Wheeler will provide help off the bench, and was selected over Tyler Colvin because there's not much playing time for an extra outfielder right now.

"Wheeler was a better fit at this time," Weiss said.