Todd Helton has been the face of the Colorado Rockies since 1997. He has carried the team to two play-off appearances and a World Series appearance. His name is synonymous with Rockies baseball. And he wants to return next season after missing much of this year with injuries.
Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says Helton feels better and wants to return to Colorado next season. Injuries and the team's lack of success had led to rumors that Helton would retire after this season even though he has one year left on his contract. However, the Rockies' first baseman is free of hip pain, and may be willing to return.
"I think, physically, I will be able to come back," Helton said Tuesday. "So I plan on coming back, but there are a couple of things still on my mind. I want to know I have a good chance to make it through next year — healthy. That will factor into it."
Helton only played in 69 games this season. He was placed on the disabled list in August when he underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. He injured the hip back in June but tried to play through the pain. Now, after a month and a half of recovery, Helton no longer needs crutches and no longer feels the pain while standing and while trying to sleep. The lack of pain has sparked his desire to return to baseball.
Helton hit just .238/.343/.400 this season, but he and the rest of the world knows he is a much better hitter than that. In his career, Helton is a .320/.419/.545 hitter. He has 2,420 hits in his 16 seasons, and he has 354 home runs. Helton is a five-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner.
Should he return to Colorado, Helton will likely be used far less than he is used to, but he says he's comfortable with that. He knows he will require more rest, and will come off the bench more. Yet even with him coming off the bench, Helton will help the Rockies. A healthy Helton can provide Colorado a substantial offensive boost.