Weiss hopes struggling outfielders can bounce back

Stubbs, Barnes have struggled throughout Rockies' Spring Training

Weiss hopes struggling outfielders can bounce back

MESA, Ariz. -- There comes a point when a player's performance becomes so perplexing that Rockies manager Walt Weiss or a coach will check in to make sure everything's OK.

The spring slumps of Drew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes have been noticed by the coaching staff, and Weiss is hoping the outfielders will turn it around in the final week of Spring Training as Colorado prepares for Opening Day.

Stubbs, who has long been strikeout-prone, is at an entirely different level this spring. He's struck out in nearly half of his at-bats (23 K's in 43 at-bats) while hitting only .186.

"Yeah, it's been a struggle the last couple weeks here," Weiss said. "So you want to make sure a guy has a road map or a blueprint to get out of something like this. Fortunately, it's still Spring Training and none of this stuff counts. But you want a good feeling as we leave here, so this last week here will be focused on Stubby and just communicating with him to make sure that mentally, he feels like he's going to be ready to go when the season goes."

Barnes also is having a rough spring after a solid 2014 campaign, in which he led the Majors in pinch-hitting with 17 knocks.

He's hitting just .200 with one extra-base hit and seven strikeouts this spring after adding a leg kick to his swing. The Rockies hope Barnes' new swing will require less in-season tinkering than his previous one.

That's key when serving in a bench role Barnes will find himself in again this season.

"He needs to feel like he's ready. He's got to have an approach he's convicted to when we leave here," Weiss said. "It's about locking into your routine these last 10 days, two weeks of Spring Training. Really locking into a routine that makes you feel prepared to go out and compete for a season."

And, maybe, benefit from the fresh start of a new regular season.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.