Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Rockies Manager Clint Hurdle Turns Up the Speed

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle is using spring training to focus on improved baserunning, as evidenced by his decision to experiment with first baseman Todd Helton batting third instead of fourth, with Matt Holliday batting cleanup.

On the surface, it looks like positioning to elevate Holliday's RBI opportunities. Instead, it's designed to create more chances for Holliday to run. Center fielder Willy Taveras has picked up on the increased emphasis on speed, pledging to double the 33 bags he stole last year to 60 or 70 this year, according to published reports.