Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/11/13
Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, who missed considerable time last season, is healthy, working out regularly and doing baseball activities. Helton, who turns 40 in August, played just 69 games in 2012, the fewest in any of his 15 full major league seasons. He underwent surgery Aug. 10 to repair a torn right hip labrum. Helton took batting practice for the second time Jan. 8 and came away very encouraged. While he's not the run-producer he once was, Helton can still make pitchers work with his ability to fight off good pitches and prolong his at-bats. He can still get on base regularly and can still play outstanding defense. "I worked with Pat Burgess, who is our bullpen catcher but who is really good (at throwing batting practice)," Helton told MLB.com. "I got to the point where I was seeing the ball where it was pitched. I could hit it hard. It was a good feeling. I kept telling him, 'Wow, that was a lot of fun.'" Last season, Helton hit .238 with seven homers and 37 RBI. He went on the disabled list at the All-Star break and played in just six games, the last on Aug. 5, after being activated July 27. In 2013, Helton expects to play first base regularly and not be a pinch hitter, designated hitter and occasional starter at first base -- the role Jason Giambi filled with the Rockies the past three seasons. But Helton also realizes that for his sake and for that of the team, he must be open with manager Walt Weiss about how he feels. The Rockies do have first base options in Michael Cuddyer, Jordan Pacheco and Tyler Colvin. "I'm not out to just say, 'I'm the first baseman,' and be a detriment to the team," Helton said. "I think I'll know if that's the case. Hopefully I'm not blinded by anything. I expect to go out and help the team. Cuddyer is an established major league player who is in the prime of his career. Pacheco is an up-and-coming star who sprays the ball all over the field and is never off-balance at the plate. Colvin just keeps getting better. Those guys can do fine." Helton, who made his debut with the Rockies in August 1997 and has $5 million remaining on the final year of his contract, said his goal "is to get through the dadgum season." But before he started hitting, he devoted himself to necessary rehab exercises and made the decision he wants to gear up for the grind of another season. "It's not the actual games that I had to decide I wanted to do," Helton said. "Everyone wants to play those. It's the travel, talking to you guys (in the media), the meetings, the time away from family -- those things. I don't think as you get older, the love for the game dies any."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Glenn Robinson III dunks over three people to win Slam Dunk Contest

Kevin Durant booed at All-Star introductions in New Orleans

Charles Oakley joins Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league

Report: Kirk Cousins does not want to be with Redskins

Hall of Famer Goose Gossage says it’s ‘insulting’ to be compared to Mariano Rivera

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

12-year MLB veteran Nick Swisher announces retirement

Report: Chiefs, Broncos among teams that interest Tony Romo

Report: Pistons, Magic have discussed Reggie Jackson trade

Andrew McCutchen Googled himself to keep up on trade talk

RB Trent Richardson arrested on domestic violence charge

Anthony Davis to be ‘very involved’ in efforts to re-sign Jrue Holiday

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/16: Getting ready for the ASG

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker