Tracy hopes Fowler cuts down on K's

Tracy hopes Fowler cuts down on K's

DENVER -- The Rockies are searching for some balance out of the leadoff spot with Dexter Fowler.

The center fielder, hitting .253 entering Sunday's series finale against the Pirates, leads the team in doubles (nine) and walks (17), but he has also struck out a National League-leading 34 times.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy said there has been a "gestation period" for Fowler, who has provided stellar play in center field since his rookie season in 2009. So the Rockies have dealt with a more incremental process at the plate, as Fowler has locked down center field.

"There's been moments of brillance," Tracy said. "The strikeout total is high, absolutely, for a leadoff hitter. But somewhere along the line as we continue to go forward, there will be a leveling off period, and I think we'll end up having ourselves a very consistent leadoff hitter."

For his part, Fowler believes increased at-bats will be the key to that consistency.

"I try to take it day-by-day, at-bat by at-bat," Fowler said. "It's a work in progress. I work on every aspect."