08/09/11 8:55 PM EST
Fowler on a tear since adding leg kick
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
More importantly, he has played with the all-out attitude of the song, which has the artist engaging in various acts of revelry, "like it's my last."
Fowler's attitude helped with a change in his action in the batter's box. Rockies hitting coach Carney Lansford suggested that Fowler add a leg kick to the beginning of his swing. He incorporated it during a July 19 hitting session before he knocked three hits against the Braves. In 20 games since adding the leg kick, he has hit .363 with six triples, five doubles and 12 RBIs. He has 20 strikeouts to 12 walks in 80 at-bats during that span, but he is doing far more damage than at the beginning of the year.
"I started it the second group of BP that first day and got three hits, and it's been going ever since," Fowler said. "Carney came up to me in early hitting, the second round, and said, 'Try this.' I tried it. It felt good. I stuck with it.
"You never know. But whatever I do, I always do 100 percent."
Also, Fowler was 2-for-8 on steal attempts in 57 games before being sent to Colorado Springs. Since his return on July 15, he is 6-for-8.
"I'm running," Fowler said. "Earlier in the year I got thrown out on a lot of hit-and-runs. Right now I'm actually wanting to steal a base."
Chacin's hand feels OK during 'pen session
CINCINNATI -- Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin reported having a strong bullpen session Tuesday after dealing with right hand inflammation in his last start.
Chacin bobbed and weaved through five innings of a win against the Nationals on Saturday, and revealed after the game that he was battling pain in the base of the thumb on the palm side and the area between the thumb and index finger on the back of his hand. It resulted from being jammed by a pitch while batting during a previous start.
Chacin, who will start against the Reds on Thursday, threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. Although there was still swelling on the back part of his hand, Chacin was able to tighten his grip to simulate game conditions, and threw a couple of curveballs to gain the feel for the pitch.
"I grabbed the ball hard, I didn't feel anything, so I think I'll be fine," Chacin said. "I was trying to throw a little bit harder."
Pitching coach Bob Apodaca instructed Chacin not to take batting practice or do any bunting until he is actually in the game. Apodaca liked the adjustments Chacin worked on to throw pitches in the strike zone early in counts.
"We had a very good session, making sure the tempo was right for him," Apodaca said. "I think he gets too slow and deliberate in his windup, so anything to the plate is quick and sudden, so it's completely separate from what the beginning of his delivery was. I like it to be more of a blend.
"It was very good. He had the use of his legs a little more at the right time, instead of relying strictly on arm to generate everything. Today was exceptional, as good a side session as I've ever seen him have as far as commanding it, not stuff-wise."
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.