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Wednesday Rockpile: Todd Helton Joins 2000 Hit Club, Iannetta Remains Errorless

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The major news from yesterday was Todd Helton joining the 2000 hit club in the Rockies' 8-1 loss to the Braves with a single to left field off of Jair Jurrjens in the third inning. As was noted by Jack Etkin, the longest-tenured Rockie became the fourth active player in the big leagues to record 2000 or more hits for the same team and 255th overall in league history to reach the mark.

The Rockies threw Helton quite a party after the game. Tracy Ringolsby writes that Helton was touched by his teammates' gift to him--an engraved single-shot rifle to the avid hunter. Getting 2000 hits requires sustained excellence and dedication--qualities that Todd possesses in spades. Purple Row salutes you, Todd Helton!

Another Rockies milestone was achieved in last night's game: Chris Iannetta set the Rockies' error-free mark at 156 games and counting. Iannetta has hit .298 in May and is steadily improving his batting average. In the notes of that article, Renck gives us some injury updates:

An MRI revealed that reliever Matt Daley has a sprained left ankle, not a foot. . . . Taylor Buchholz threw 37 pitches in a bullpen session Monday. He is expected back around mid-June. . . . Franklin Morales (shoulder) will throw a simulated game today. . . . Greg Smith (shoulder) worked in the minors Tuesday and has a least two more starts before being considered for the roster.

Ringolsby has a more detailed update on Morales--the young southpaw is ready to begin rehab assignments and will be brought along with the idea of him returning to the Rockies' starting rotation. If the mercurial Morales shows that he can stay healthy and effective it will bode well for the Rockies' projected 2010 rotation.

The loss last night means that the Rockies are now 11.5 games back in the NL West behind the Dodgers, who have the best record in baseball at 28-13.