April not so cruel to Tulowitzki this time
Average for the month much higher than in 2009
ATLANTA -- Peer down the list of Rockies batting averages, and Troy Tulowitzki's doesn't stand out.
By the end of the season, Tulowitzki and the Rockies would like for his numbers to leap off the page as one of the highest on the team, or in the National League. For now, though, it's good his average doesn't attract much notice.
Tulowitzki entered Saturday's game with the Braves at .268. That's well below the .297 season average of 2009 but way above his April career average of .205. One bad or good game could send the numbers fluctuating, but he hasn't dug a hole the way he has in past Aprils.
"I feel OK, but obviously there's room for improvement," said Tulowitzki, who kicked up this year's April number by going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI on Friday. "It's early. Everybody knows I get off to slow starts, so we'll see if I can really help out the team.
"I think I'm in a better place than before, but at the same time, I should be in a better place. I have another year [behind me], and I should not press as much. If I get off to a slow start, it's not like I'm not going to play, so I should feel relaxed."
The Rockies' offense mirrors Tulowitzki's. It's not bad, but it's several steps below expectations.
"You'd like it to be perfect, but you build toward something," manager Jim Tracy said. "We've only got 152 more games to play. In the meantime, we've found a way to split the first 10 games of the season. It's very fair to have it be discussed, because there are things that are not completely right. We're finding ways to win some ballgames, and we know that there's a lot more that we want to be right as we move forward."
Olivo not worried about ex-teammate Greinke
ATLANTA -- Catcher Miguel Olivo spent last season with the Royals and caught all but one of Zack Greinke's starts, and Greinke won the American League Cy Young Award.
Now, however, Greinke is 0-2 with more runs scored against him (10) than were scored in his first 10 starts last year (eight). Olivo has yet to speak to Greinke, but he has talked to other Royals.
"We're good friends, and I feel bad for him -- I know that's not him," Olivo said. "But things happen. I'm not there. I don't know what's going on. That's baseball. But you know what kind of stuff he has. I've seen some little things on [TV]. I'm just praying he gets out of that slump and gets back to the way he can pitch."
Olivo entered Saturday night's game against the Braves hitting .421 (8-for-19) with two home runs and a double. He also believes that he has made some forward strides defensively. Working with Mark Strittmatter, the Rockies' catching coach and bullpen catcher, Olivo is reducing his glove movement.
"In Spring Training, they told me I was doing a good job, but they wanted me to be more quiet with the glove, and I'm doing that," he said. "I'm not moving my glove as much. I'm trying to move my body and catch the ball clean in front of my body."
Uneven outing actually a step forward for Cook
ATLANTA -- Right-hander Aaron Cook, who will start on Monday at Washington, didn't have his best pitch, his sinker, in his last start, but he held the Mets to three runs on four hits -- two of them home runs -- and four walks. He didn't figure in the decision in the Rockies' 6-5 win in 10 innings.
The more he thought about it, the more he liked what he accomplished.
"After the game, I thought about it for a second, talked to some of the guys, talked to my wife," Cook said. "I was excited because I was using not only the four-seamer but I was able to use my breaking ball and slider.
"In the past, if I was fighting my sinker that much, I would keep trying to get it to where it needed to be and end up giving up eight or nine runs in a game like that. I won't say it's a revelation, but I will say I got a feel for those other pitches that I worked on all offseason and through Spring Training."
However, Cook would rather have his best sinker. He said it's not as if the pitch has left him, and he found it again during his bullpen session on Friday.
"My mind-set was to keep doing things I did in Spring Training with my delivery -- get extension, get the ball out front," he said. "The ball was sinking, and I was throwing it where I wanted to.
"It was just one of those starts the other day where timing was off and I was a little quick. I had eight days off with two off-days. I was just misfiring, but I figured a way to battle through it."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.