Rockies in search of key base hits
Hurdle calls for quality at-bats; sluggers tinker with swings
KANSAS CITY -- Clint Hurdle says he doesn't bet. But if he did, he said he would've bet the Rockies would have more than 326 runs through 77 games.
Going into Tuesday's game, Colorado had a .237 batting average with runners in scoring position, the 26th-lowest mark in the Major Leagues.
"It has definitely been the most visible ingredient for me that hasn't been there," Hurdle said.
Hurdle is the old-school manager type. When he sees Colorado's hitting woes, he thinks of the easiest solution. For him, it's all about quality at-bats. He said he'd rather not reference statistics or watch video all day.
Hurdle just wants quality, and he has a few components for a quality at-bat. For one, he wants his hitters to find where the catcher is spotting up and then see where the pitch is located. After that, he expects them to square up the ball based on where it's located on the plate.
He said the Rockies have continually been working on all those parts of hitting during the past six weeks. Some players, such as Brad Hawpe and Jeff Baker, have been consistently hitting the ball well during that period. Others, such as Todd Helton, have continued to struggle.
Baker said everyone on the team has been working hard on their mechanics. He doesn't see anything wrong with their approach at the plate.
But the numbers are speaking loudly. The Rockies aren't hitting well.
"It's just one of those things where you have to get in that situation," Baker said. "There's no magic formula, no tricks. It's just one of those things you've got to try to take some pressure off and have a good at-bat."
Mark Dent is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.