LOS ANGELES -- Whether Xavier Nady, who was released by the Kansas City Royals and signed a Minor League contract with the Rockies on June 30, ever cracks the Rockies' roster remains to be seen, but the outfielder is making a strong impression on the organization.
While in the Royals' Minor League system, Nady hit .310 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs. Since joining Triple-A Colorado Springs, Nady is hitting .400.
"He's done well down there," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He's an accomplished Major Leaguer. He's a right-handed bat that can play the outfield and provide some power off the bench. It's a nice piece to be able to go to."
Although Nady is a career .270 hitter, he spent parts of 2012 with the Nationals and Giants and was only able to muster a .184 average.
Blackmon making most of opportunities
LOS ANGELES -- While the starters get the bulk of the recognition, a baseball season is lengthy and forces teams to rely on contributions from their role players.
In his past couple of starts, Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon has stepped up.
Blackmon went 2-for-4 against the Dodgers on Friday night and has six hits in his last 17 at-bats, raising his batting average from .182 to .256 in the process.
"I've been feeling a little more comfortable and I think it's showed up on the field, offensively especially," Blackmon said.
Part of Blackmon's recent success stems from his preparation.
While preparation is important for all players, it is especially crucial for someone like Blackmon, who may enter the game late and only get one crack at an opposing pitcher.
"I do a lot of stuff on video to where I feel like I have a good idea of what a pitcher looks like or what his arsenal is before I get in there, because I'm not going to have three at-bats off the guy, it might just be one."
When Blackmon does start a game and gets multiple at-bats, he needs to make sure he makes the most of his opportunities. Arriving at the park without knowing exactly how he will be used on any given day is certainly a challenge for Blackmon, but it is one he relishes.
"I think it's one of those things that you have to embrace to be good at and that's the way I approach it," Blackmon said. "I think that while it might be easier to play every day, it's harder to succeed playing in a limited role. I look at it as a challenge and really try to see that."
Rockies have running game in high gear
LOS ANGELES -- The Colorado Rockies roster is not filled with an excess of speed, but the club has found ways to steal bases this season.
After stealing 100 bases in 2012, ranking 19th in the Major Leagues, the Rockies entered Saturday's game having stolen 69 bases this season, which ranks fifth in baseball and third in the National League.
"I'm really happy with the baserunning, the basestealing in particular, because we talked so much during Spring Training about looking for opportunities," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "When the opportunity presents itself, they're taking it. That's been the biggest key."
Not only are the Rockies seizing the opportunities, but they're succeeding.
When attempting to steal a base, the Rockies have been successful 83.1 percent of the time -- the highest percentage in baseball.
In addition, the Rockies are one of just two teams, along with the Brewers, with three players that have more than 10 stolen bases. Carlos Gonzalez leads the team with 15, Dexter Fowler has swiped 12 bags and DJ LeMahieu has 10.
"It's important to give guys the green light," Weiss said. "That's the only way you can get a feel for stealing bases. If you only steal when you're told to steal, you never develop a feel to do it. Your percentages are always going to be higher if you can pick your spot."
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.