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With Giambi as his backup, Helton plans to take more days off

Feb 18, 2010, 12:50 PM EDT

Todd Helton said yesterday that he plans to take more days off this season because he “had nothing left at the end of the year.” Here’s more from the 36-year-old first baseman:

That was partly my fault. I should have kept myself in a little better shape. You just get worn down from playing so much. I want to have more left in the tank when the games matter. … I have good and bad days with my back. I think running is probably the biggest thing. And diving.

When you get older and get sore, it just doesn’t go away like it used to. It’s the nagging stuff. That’s one of the reasons you take more time off during the season. You get that extra day here and there, so you have something left when your team needs you the most.

After an injury wrecked, career-worst 2008 season Helton bounced back nicely last year, starting 147 games and hitting .325 while topping a .900 OPS for the 10th time in 12 full seasons. Despite saying that he “had nothing left at the end of the year” he actually batted above .300 in every month and went 19-for-43 (.442) during the Rockies’ final 11 games before a poor four-game playoff performance.
Of course, whether or not his actual performance shows that Helton wore down late in the season giving a 36-year-old with back problems the occasional day off is never a bad idea. When he’s on the bench the Rockies will turn to Jason Giambi at first base, which while a huge downgrade defensively does allow them to keep a powerful left-handed bat in the lineup while also keeping Giambi somewhat fresh in his usual pinch-hitting role.

  1. Old Gator - Feb 18, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    I guess TH’s career is winding down. I’m already anticipating looking back at the games I’ve seen him play over the years and recalling the sense of dread I felt every time he went to the plate against the Feesh. Not a lot of guys make you feel that way. It has been a privilege to watch him, and it’s good for the game that he wants to take better care, but I do hope he won’t be one of those formerly great ballplayers who prolongs his career through years of pathetic play and trades on his past.

  2. YankeesfanLen - Feb 18, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    This seems like a good fit to me, as far as it goes. My opinion is that Giambi was not that bad at first and if the Rockies aren’t as streaky as they have been the last few years they ought to get to the playoffs without too much agita.
    Nothing like having your avg. age at 1st 38 years old. Must make Johnny feel good as he descends to…..whatever.

  3. BC - Feb 18, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Helton a Hall Of Famer?
    305 HR
    1202 RBI
    Top ten in batting 9 times
    3 Gold Gloves
    5 Allstar Games
    .328 career BA
    .427 career OBP
    .994 career OPS
    I say with a couple more good years, yes.

  4. mbt shoes - Feb 21, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    Hi,boy. I come here form yahoo,I believe this view is wonderful ,.thanks you for sharing.

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