Todd Helton to return for 2013

  • David Whitlock

Todd Helton appears poised to return to the diamond for his 17th season, all with the Colorado Rockies.  Troy Renck of the Denver Post tweeted today:

@TroyRenck - Talked to Todd Helton today and said, “I am back, baby.” Was always leaning this direction. Story posted soon.

Todd has been significantly slowed down by injuries and age in recent years (only once playing over 125 games the past 5 seasons).  Included most recently is hip surgery that ended his 2012 campaign.  Then he added a knee surgery to boot, vowing to see how his recovery went before committing to return.  Apparently the recovery has gone well and he is gearing up for camp in Scottsdale (although it’s unclear whether he’ll be a full participant right off the bat).

The elephant in the room is “is this a good thing for the Rockies.”  The venerable Helton batted just .238 in 69 games before going on the shelf.  And hasn’t hit more than 17 home runs since 2005.  Tyler Colvin is 13 years younger and swatted 18 homers in 450 AB’s and appears to be the future at 1B.  Helton certainly would be a great bat off the bench or in a platoon (Colvin also bats left, but could move to a corner OF to spell Cuddyer) so there is value there.  And he’s the leader in the clubhouse, period.

Perhaps the decision was easy for Todd, he stands to reap $5M in the final year of his contract (actually not that expensive considering he made $20M just two years ago).  He will hit the magical age of 40, and probably won’t be asked to play more than about 120 games for his effort.  But more importantly, the Rockies fans will have the opportunity to send him off (hopefully) healthy.

– Dave (@lhd_on_sports)

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David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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