Rockies injuries force Arenado into prime lineup spots, and he likes them

Arenado from above

As Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado was learning the Majors as a rookie last season, manager Walt Weiss said he could see Arenado eventually hitting in the middle of the order. Well, with Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer all out with injuries, eventually is here.

In 10 games in the prime No. 3 spot, Arenado, 23, is batting .326 (14-for-47 with four doubles, two home runs and six RBIs. Monday night’s game against the Padres was his 11th in the cleanup spot. He entered hitting .257 (9-for-42) with two homers, four doubles and eight RBIs.

Arenado said hitting in such prime spots is comforting, rather than burdensome.

“Growing up, I was always a 3 or 4 hitter, so I go back to those days, slow the game down and try to hit the ball hard,” he said.

Arenado flied out in his first two at-bats Monday. Both were with two on base – with one out in the first and two out in the third.

I’m hitting with more guys on second base with fewer than two outs, or guys on third base,” Arenado said. “At the beginning of the year, I felt like I was always hitting with two outs. I’m just trying to do a job.”

— Thomas Harding

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