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Hurdle keeps faith in Helton

Hurdle keeps faith in Helton

KANSAS CITY -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle doesn't want to hear anything about moving Todd Helton out of the cleanup spot for a while.

He got asked about it two weeks ago, with Helton hitting .295, and said no then. Despite Helton's recent slide -- he has only three hits in his last 30 at-bats -- Hurdle's stance hasn't changed.

"Any conversation I have long term," Hurdle said, "I normally have conversations with the players rather than the public. We are of the same opinion that we want to do what's best for the team, what's best for the lineup. I do believe our lineup's dynamic is best with Todd at cleanup."
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Although Helton's average has plummeted from .295 to .275 in the last 14 games, other stats show his value as cleanup hitter. He's hitting .341 with two outs on the season and has 27 walks in his last 29 games.

"Historically this is the time he's heated up," Hurdle said, "and I think we need to pay attention to that. There are times as a manger you have to take steps of faith when no one else is willing to. You always have to keep in perspective to do best things for your ballclub."

Mark Dent is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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