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Torrealba hopes hot spring carries over

Torrealba hopes hot spring carries over

TUCSON, Ariz. -- When the season starts, Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba's hitting statistics will be forgotten. But he hopes his performance, which includes an eight-game hit streak, has lasting effects.

"I wish they could throw all these hits to my numbers for the regular season -- that would be really nice," Torrealba said on Friday. The veteran backstop is hitting .464 with a home run, eight RBIs, four doubles and a triple in Cactus League action this spring.

"But I'm trying to be more consistent with my offense and minimize the struggles I had last year," Torrealba said. "You know, one week was good, the next week was so-so and the third week was brutal.

"But it's not just the numbers that make me happy. I'm trying to have quality at-bats, which are more important. You want to help the team with a hit, but at the same time you can help the team by hitting the ball hard somewhere or moving a guy over."

Torrealba is concentrating on hitting to the right side of the field. One reason he's excelling is he is getting most of his at-bats in Minor League games, where he can bat in every inning. It helps the Major League pitchers throwing in those games as well, because they get an opportunity to work with the regular catcher.

The Rockies plan to bat the catcher in the No. 7 spot and will look for better than the .240 batting average, .320 on-base percentage and .364 slugging percentage Torrealba put up last season. Torrealba finished the year at .255 with eight home runs and 47 RBIs, and Chris Iannetta -- whose at-bats also are much better this spring -- hit .218 with four homers and seven RBIs.

Iannetta went 0-for-3 against the Cubs on Friday and is hitting .231 this spring. Torealba had the day off.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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