Blackmon reaping rewards of his own patience

Rox leadoff hitter reaches bases three more times in loss to Seattle

Blackmon reaping rewards of his own patience

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies center fielder and leadoff man Charlie Blackmon readily noted that pitchers aren't "as tough now as they will be in one month," but said there is meaning in his .447 Cactus League on-base percentage.

Blackmon, hitting .278 with a .500 slugging percentage in addition to his high on-base, doubled, singled and walked against Mariners starting pitcher Taijuan Walker during the Rockies' 10-8 loss on Thursday afternoon.

"When you see a guy who's playing well and he's consistently swinging at the right pitches and having competitive at-bats, then you can look and say he's got a chance to sustain that," Blackmon said.

Spring: Tickets | Ballpark | 40-man roster | NRIs

Blackmon has twice as many walks (10) as strikeouts. After having increased his pitches seen per plate appearance from 3.79 in 2014 to 3.98 in 2015, Blackmon has honed his choices to pitches he can hit hard. The selectivity has allowed him to lay off pitches designed for him to chase.

While much of the spring attention has gone to Nolan Arenado and his .548 batting average and Trevor Story's .333 mark in his bid to begin his Major League career as a starting shortstop, Blackmon's on-base performance has caught the notice of manager Walt Weiss.

"I don't know if he's made any major adjustments, but he's just putting together good at-bats," Weiss said. "He's got a plan every time he steps in the box. He's been laying off pitches outside the strike zone and drawing walks."

Outlook: Blackmon, CF, COL

Worth noting

• Lefty Boone Logan delayed the start of his Cactus League season to allow elbow soreness to heal. After a scattershot first outing, Logan put together scoreless appearances on Tuesday and Thursday -- when he forced lefty-hitting Seth Smith to pop out, walked Robinson Cano, then struck out Nelson Cruz looking and worked Steve Clevenger into a grounder.

Logan, 31, who has battled elbow issues the first two years of the three-year, $16.4 million contract he signed with the Rockies, is learning how to prepare without overpreparing and stressing the elbow.

"I'll take what I can get," Logan said. "People always say they can't wait for the start of the season. I can't wait, but I definitely want to pitch as much as I can for the remainder of the spring, just to make sure everything is good to go."

• Righty Miguel Castro, 21, who has six strikeouts and no walks in five scoreless innings this spring, is scheduled to pitch right behind starting lefty Jorge De La Rosa in Friday's road game against the Reds. Late-game hitters have been overmatched against Castro. Going earlier could give him a chance to face regulars.

• In off-the-bench duty Thursday, outfielder Brandon Barnes went 1-for-2 as part of his quest to land an Opening Day roster spot. Barnes has hit .300 with four RBIs in 17 games.

• Utility infielder Rafael Ynoa, possibly competing with Barnes for the same spot, went 0-for-1 and is at .314 with three RBIs. Factors such as roster structure or the number of pitchers the club will carry could equal or exceed spring performance in importance.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.