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Weiss understands Rutledge's second-year slump

Weiss understands Rutledge's second-year slump

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Weiss understands Rutledge's second-year slump

LOS ANGELES -- Josh Rutledge became an immediate success for the Rockies in 2012, hitting .274 with eight home runs, 37 RBIs and seven stolen bases in less than half a season. Named the Opening Day starter at second base this spring, 2013 hasn't been all that Rutledge or the Rockies had hoped for.

"He's fighting through some of the adjustments that you have to fight through in this league, especially as a young player," said manager Walt Weiss. "When you first come up and you have early success, it's tough to sustain up here."

While the power and speed is there, Rutledge enters Friday's game against the Dodgers hitting .212 and spent part of May and June with Triple-A Colorado Springs. He is hitting only .145 since his return.

Weiss, however, has confidence in Rutledge, who sat out Friday's game at Dodger Stadium.

"He has a lot of abilities," Weiss said. "He's a great athlete. He's struggling through that right now, but I believe his athleticism and his tools as a baseball player are well above average."

When it comes to struggling players Weiss know what he's talking about. His second big league season didn't go quite so well either after he was the 1988 American League Rookie of the Year Award winner with Oakland.

"I had a tough second year," he said. "I had plenty of times where I struggled, didn't play well, didn't perform. Everyone goes through it."

The bottom line for both Rutledge and Weiss is confidence.

"You have to be mentally tough to play up here and have success up here, and he's done that. The next challenge is fighting through those tough stretches and not losing your confidence," Weiss said. "Everyone gets beat up in this league."

Glenn Rabney is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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