LOS ANGELES -- Rockies rookie outfielder Charlie Blackmon had some encouraging offensive performances last year before suffering a broken right foot. He was making a bid to make the Opening Day roster this spring before suffering turf toe in the same foot.
Finally healthy, Blackmon is performing better than he had at any of those other junctures, manager Jim Tracy said before Friday night's game against the Dodgers.
Blackmon, 26, who was not in the lineup, entered Friday with a .275 batting average with two home runs and eight RBIs in 36 games since being called up on Aug. 18, after a long and difficult comeback from the injuries.
"He's in a better place offensively than he's ever been, since I first laid eyes on him," Tracy said. "This was a 6-foot-2, 6-foot-3-inch man that did not have any lower half offensively, did not have any idea how to use it. We talked about that at the end of the season last year.
"He's done a much better job with his load, incorporating it. We got a little glimpse the other night as to his power potential. But I've also talked to Charlie Blackmon about not changing the type of player he is and what could make him special to our ballclub and organization. And that is, don't get caught up in the power. We're talking about a guy that's a terrific bunter, a good runner, a base stealer. I want all of that in play in his game."
Blackmon and outfielder Matt McBride will play for LaRomana in the Dominican Winter League. Left-hander Josh Outman, who could be a factor in the bullpen, will pitch for Escogido. Catcher Wilin Rosario will play for Estrellas.