Slight changes put Tulowitzki back on track 

August, 23, 2009
On May 29, Troy Tulowitzki started the day hitting .224/.318/.393, a line even worse than his final results from an injury-plagued 2008 season. On that date, the Rockies fired Clint Hurdle, who had infamously benched Tulowitzki just more than a week earlier after Tulowitzki grounded into a double play by swinging at the first pitch when the Rockies were already down seven runs in the eighth inning. Since then, Tulowitzki has been on fire, hitting .304/.386/.621, including two singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly in five trips to the plate Saturday, a day after he stayed home with flu-like symptoms.

While Tulowitzki himself said he doesn't feel like he's doing anything differently -- "I just got off to a slow start," he said, which is undeniably true -- hitting coach Don Baylor pointed out a change the shortstop made to his stance that has made a significant difference. "In spring training, he was really crossed over, and his arm was up" near his chin, with his back slightly crouched, Baylor said. The new stance "gives him a better view of the baseball now."

In addition, Tulowitzki's approach has changed away from a dead-pull orientation. Now, "he's not pulling a lot of balls; he's hitting a lot of balls to straightaway center," Baylor said. "If you're going to come from [hitting] .190 to .280 like he has, it's not about pulling the ball -- it's about [hitting to] the big part of the field."

Keith Law

ESPN Senior Writer