06/30/11 9:13 PM EST
Second-round pick among Rockies' signings
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
The Rockies also agreed to terms with TCU infielder Taylor Featherston (fifth round), San Diego right-handed pitcher Chris Jensen (sixth), San Jose State left-handed pitcher Roberto Padilla (eighth round), St. Olaf right-handed pitcher Benjamin Hughes (10th round), Loyola Marymount right-handed pitcher Alex Gillingham (11th round), Louisiana Tech left-handed pitcher Kyle Roliard (13th round), Pepperdine outfielder Brian Humphries (14th round), Cal-Santa Barbara right-handed pitcher Jesse Meaux (19th round), Central Florida right-handed pitcher Daniel Winkler (20th round) and North Carolina right-handed pitcher Patrick Johnson (25th round).
Helton plays in 2,000th game with Rockies
DENVER -- At the start of his Major League career, Rockies first baseman Todd Helton admired the Padres' Tony Gwynn for his longevity with one club. Now, Helton finds himself in a similar category.
Thursday afternoon's game against the White Sox was Helton's 2,000th in the Majors, all with the Rockies. He became the 54th player in history to play that many games with one club. Only two active players have played in more games with just one team -- the Yankees' Derek Jeter (2,357) and the Braves' Chipper Jones (2,330).
"Obviously, 2,000 games is a lot of games," Helton said before going 2-for-5 in the Rockies' 6-4, 10-inning defeat. "The thing I'm most proud about is that it's all been here. It's kind of hard to, can't even put my head around it. That's a lot of times driving to the ballfield, a lot of times I've had to put the game before my family. I think about those things. I'm also very proud to say I've played in 2,000 big league games.
"I probably thought about it more before, when I was first in the game, watching Tony Gwynn in the West."
Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Helton, assumed to be at the end of his career last year, when he battled back pain and leg weakness and hit .256 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs in 118 games, has made himself a candidate for the Comeback Player of the Year Award. Helton entered Thursday hitting .306 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs in 69 games.
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
As Helton continues to play strong, the numbers become more impressive. He entered Thursday tied with Bobby Abreu and Rogers Hornsby for 26th on the all-time doubles list with 541. Gwynn and Harry Heilmann were ahead of him by one.
Where his numbers will end up is anyone's guess. But for now Helton can't fathom a magic milestone off in the distance, 3,000 hits. He entered Thursday with 2,308.
Tulo lets bat do his All-Star campaigning
DENVER -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki declined the opportunity for a last-day campaign speech on Thursday. Instead, he offered a warm thanks to the fans that have him in a strong position to earn his first starting lineup spot in the All-Star Game.
Tulowitzki, voted to the National league squad by fellow players last year, although he didn't play because of a fractured left wrist, entered the week with his once comfortable lead over the Mets' Jose Reyes having narrowed to the point that it's anyone's election. Fans have until 9:59 p.m. MT on Thursday to log on and cast up to 25 votes.
"[Rockies fans] have done a great job so far," Tulowitzki said. "To be where I am in the votes, I know it's going to come down to the wire with Reyes. He's very deserving, and I've said numerous times, he definitely deserves to be an All-Star. It's an honor for me to be there in the balloting with a guy that plays in New York. In this organization, we've not had too many guys voted in by the fans.
"For myself, it's very satisfying. I'm doing the right things for the fans to notice."
Tulowitzki, however, did make one more appeal for votes, with his bat on Thursday afternoon. He knocked a three-run homer, his 15th of the season to lead all Major League shortstops, off White Sox starter Jake Peavy, in the first inning.
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.