This season, the Rockies didn't send him down, but did begin shifting playing time to Tyler Colvin a little more than a week ago. Fowler had enough poor at-bats and enough sloppy plays in the field that he became a lightning rod for criticism during the team's disappointing start to the season.
But with other players needing rest, Colvin played left field and first base and Fowler received a new chance. Fowler's average went from .219 to .243 and his on-base percentage went from .406 to .466 through three games of the homestand.
"A lot of people lost confidence in me, but I never lost confidence in myself," Fowler said Saturday. "I don't think anybody in the organization lost faith in me, or I probably wouldn't be here. But everybody else made it a much bigger deal than it needed to be in my head. God's given me some talents, and it's about utilizing those."
Offensively, the leg kick that brought the switch-hitting Fowler's swing to a new level last year became an issue this year. He added it during last season. He could adjust it depending on how he felt or what he needed during a particular at-bat. It's an added moving part that's difficult to control.
"I had been playing, so my timing was there," Fowler said. "Coming back this year, it was actually like starting from scratch. So I had to learn to just simplify it."
As long as veterans such as Michael Cuddyer and Todd Helton need days off -- Helton was off Saturday, and Cuddyer moved from right field to first base to preserve his legs -- Colvin still will get the playing time he has earned. Colvin entered Saturday hitting .315 with three home runs and 11 RBIs, first with part-time duty and now in the daily lineup.
"[Fowler] definitely has opened the door," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "What has worked out very well for us, too, is it's not a matter of him creating opportunity for himself and as a result I have to slide Tyler Colvin to the back burner. Because of the day game after night game today and the effectiveness that I've seen Tyler Colvin have against right- and left-handed pitching, I have the opportunity to slide him right back in there.
"So they're both playing."
Tracy said he also can give left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who went into Saturday 3-for-13 during the homestand, a day off and play Colvin in his stead.