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Rockies put on the track shoes

Citizen Staff Writer



The Colorado Rockies are going full speed ahead on the base paths this spring.

And that means everyone.

Even Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, not known for his speed, is being aggressive, going twice for doubles against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday only to be thrown out.

No problem. Keep running is the message.

“We’re not planning on getting off the pedal,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “It is no secret. What you don’t want to see is have this type of a program in spring training and then drop back to Plan B in the season.

“You can’t afford to do that. We can’t settle. We have to stay aggressive and move up 90 feet however we can and with whoever is on base.”

The Rockies don’t have the fastest lineup, especially without Willy Taveras, who led the majors in stolen bases last year but is with Cincinnati this season.

No matter. Taveras’ 68 steals will be made up by a collection of talent up and down the lineup.

“We are challenging the guys that there is a lot of rewards and the risk is what it is,” Hurdle said. “You are not going to get beat over the head for being aggressive. If you have a green light, then you go. I’m not going to say we are going to back off. Once the season starts, why stop something that has been successful?”

Colorado, heading into the weekend, was third in the majors with 32 homers and second in stolen bases with 33.

The Rockies added three steals against the Chicago Cubs at Hi Corbett Field, while catcher Chris Iannetta was thrown out.

It’s time to run, and not just steals. Hurdle wants to see players going from first to third as much as possible and trying to stretch singles into doubles.

That is what Helton did and the Rockies are doing.

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