With Tulo out, Cuddyer slides into cleanup spot

With Tulo out, Cuddyer slides into cleanup spot

DENVER -- It's never good to have a star player like Troy Tulowitzki go on the 15-day disabled list. But if it has to happen, the Rockies can take advantage of Michael Cuddyer's recent hot streak by installing him as cleanup hitter.

The veteran right fielder battled through a rough middle of May, going 3-for-17 as the Rockies lost five of six in a May 16-20 homestand. But since then, Cuddyer has been better: His .304 batting average and nine RBIs the last eight games have helped the club to a 4-4 record.

"Baseball is very cyclical," Cuddyer said. "You're going to go through weeks where you're the worst player in the world and weeks where you're the best player. That's just the way it is."

Cuddyer -- who spent his first 11 seasons in Minnesota -- entered Thursday with 1,059 career at-bats in the No. 4 hole, second only to his appearances in the fifth spot (1,277). His career slash line at cleanup is .279/.351/.478, with 182 RBIs.

"No matter where you're hitting, you just hope you're productive," Cuddyer said. "If guys are on base, you try to knock them in. If they're not, then you try to get on base."