LOS ANGELES -- Rockies utility man Jordan Pacheco is quick to say the team misses first baseman Todd Helton, but Pacheco is making the veteran's absence not so painful.
Pacheco had a Helton-esque night in Monday's 12-2 victory with two hits, including a two-run double. Helton hasn't played since April 19 because of a left forearm strain. Pacheco has been the primary first baseman since, and responded by having multiple hits in six of his last seven starts going into another start Tuesday night.
"We need Todd in there, because our team is better with him," Pacheco said. "I'm doing what I can to keep things going, trying to be myself and not do too much, and try to do something to help the team win."
Last year, Pacheco led National League rookies with a .309 batting average but little top-shelf power -- five home runs. To his credit, Pacheco has resisted any urge to try to force more power. Going into Tuesday he hadn't homered this year and had three doubles among his 20 hits, but his .364 batting average and .417 on-base percentage heading into Tuesday's game represented steady contributions.
"It's situational," Pacheco said. "I can get a runner over, get him in, and I can get on base. I am aggressive in the box. These are the Major Leagues and pitchers aren't just going to throw the ball down the middle. So I try to stay ready for when that pitch comes and take my shot at it. I know what type of player I am."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less