Former National League MVP and two-time batting champ Larry Walker gives way to the 26-year-old Tennessean Todd Helton, a rugged third-year man who led the league for most of the spring in four major offensive categories -- batting average, runs scored, runs batted in and hits. The oft-injured Walker, now 33, may still be the Rockies' greatest talent, but the level-headed, slick-fielding Helton is a natural for the 2000 All-Star Team -- and the young star who's helped Coors Field fans forget popular first-sacker Andres Galarraga's departure to Atlanta.

Former National League MVP and two-time batting champ Larry Walker gives way to the 26-year-old Tennessean Todd Helton, a rugged third-year man who led the league for most of the spring in four major offensive categories -- batting average, runs scored, runs batted in and hits. The oft-injured Walker, now 33, may still be the Rockies' greatest talent, but the level-headed, slick-fielding Helton is a natural for the 2000 All-Star Team -- and the young star who's helped Coors Field fans forget popular first-sacker Andres Galarraga's departure to Atlanta.

In three seasons as a Rockie, ace Pedro Astacio has never pitched a shutout, but he came within one teammate's error of doing it June 3 in Milwaukee. After scattering three hits and striking out seven over the first eight innings, the Dominican righty gave up a leadoff single to Geoff Jenkins in the ninth, threw a wild pitch and then saw the runner advance to third on a throwing error by Colorado catcher Scott Servais. Ex-Rockie Charlie Hayes then singled Jenkins home to tie the game 1-1. Alas, Rockies reliever Stan Belinda lost the game in the 12th, 2-1. Hard luck for Pete, but a splendid start nonetheless. Five hits, one unearned run, no decision.

In three seasons as a Rockie, ace Pedro Astacio has never pitched a shutout, but he came within one teammate's error of doing it June 3 in Milwaukee. After scattering three hits and striking out seven over the first eight innings, the Dominican righty gave up a leadoff single to Geoff Jenkins in the ninth, threw a wild pitch and then saw the runner advance to third on a throwing error by Colorado catcher Scott Servais. Ex-Rockie Charlie Hayes then singled Jenkins home to tie the game 1-1. Alas, Rockies reliever Stan Belinda lost the game in the 12th, 2-1. Hard luck for Pete, but a splendid start nonetheless. Five hits, one unearned run, no decision.

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