Despite slump, Helton remains in lineup

Despite slump, Helton remains in lineup

Despite slump, Helton remains in lineup
MIAMI -- First baseman Todd Helton has been mired in a month-long slump, but that doesn't mean Rockies manager Jim Tracy's confidence in him is wavering.

Entering Monday, Helton was hitting just .170 with a .191 slugging percentage in May and was homerless in his last 51 at-bats. Helton has seen his batting average dip to .219, the lowest it has been going into a game since the first week of the season, when he was hitting .211 going into a series opener against the D-backs on April 13.

Despite the struggles, Tracy still has confidence in -- and respect for -- Helton's hitting ability. When asked if he considered starting Jason Giambi, who has hit .414 with four homers in 29 career at-bats against Marlins lefty Mark Buehrle, Tracy brushed off the possibility, saying "the guy that plays first base for us, he's also a pretty good hitter."

"I've said many times, when you're dealing with a player of that magnitude and things aren't quite working out the way he'd like them to be at this time, he's also the same guy that's one good swing away from being the hottest hitter in the league," Tracy said.