DENVER -- On more than one occasion recently, Rockies manager Jim Tracy has made an effort to point out Brad Hawpe's quiet contributions to the ballclub.
Tracy has referred to the "intangibles" or "under the radar" qualities that the right fielder exhibits to help build chemistry in the clubhouse or maintain consistency in the lineup.
"He's actually a Rock of Gibraltar," Tracy said. "I don't want to call him an unsung hero, but he's a guy sometimes you could allow yourself to take for granted a little bit."
Against the Dodgers, who the Rockies are trying to win a series against for the first time in two seasons, it's difficult to take Hawpe for granted. He's a career .352 (109-for-310) hitter against Los Angeles with 20 home runs and 76 RBIs.
He is tied for seventh with Ellis Burks on the Rockies' all-time home run list (115) and the 2009 All-Star has started five straight season openers in right field for Colorado.
"At a time when we weren't playing real good baseball a year ago, the first two months of the season, this guy was a model of consistency well beyond the All-Star break," Tracy said. "I'm not going to wear him out this year. I refuse to let that happen."