Adjustments help Helton since return from DL

Adjustments help Helton since return from DL

LOS ANGELES -- In the two weeks since Rockies first baseman Todd Helton returned from the disabled list, he has hit .300 with two home runs and five RBIs. That compares to the .246, two home runs and 16 RBIs he compiled during the first three months of the season.

"I made some adjustments," Helton said, "Whether it will stick or not, I have no idea, but I feel better."

"He's a very prideful guy," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.

"He was trying to push through something that obviously wasn't going to let him succeed the way he wants to and that was due to the fatigue in his lower back."

Tracy says that the club tried a lot of things to try to keep Helton in the lineup and let him be productive.

"We played him, we rested him, we moved him around the lineup and tried and endless number of things," Tracy said.

While Tracy is glad to see Helton back and producing, he made a point that he's going to be very careful with how he uses Helton from this point on.

"Since he's come back, we have not tried to push that envelope too far," Tracy said. "And I don't know how far I will push that, because I'm not too keen on the negative effect it might have."

For now the plan is to play Helton a couple of days and then give him a day off. Tracy also wants to use the schedule to help, such as last weekend, when they gave Helton Sunday off, knowing that Monday was a scheduled off-day.

"He had two days off and only missed one game," Tracy said.

Helton himself admitting that feeling 100% is never going to be an option.

"It's something I'll always have to deal with," he said. "I feel much better, like I have a chance to do some damage at the plate. I'm driving the ball a little better and hopefully I'll keep it going."

Tracy is cautiously optimistic, saying that what he's seen so far is very encouraging and important to the club.

"What we've seen so far is very reminiscent of what we saw an awful lot of in 2009," he said.

For Tracy, that's all that he needs from Helton for the Rockies to be successful.

"That's all we're looking for, some measure of consistency that resembles that," he said.

"That's why we are trying to put fast guys on in front of him, so that he will have the opportunity to put a ball in play and drive in runs."