Sullivan shoots for No. 1 batting spot |

Sullivan shoots for No. 1 batting spot

TUCSON, Ariz. ” The Colorado Rockies are looking at second-year outfielder Cory Sullivan to jump-start the offense by moving him to the leadoff spot after a hot end to the 2005 season.

Sullivan could take a stranglehold on the position with a stellar spring training performance, but shortstop Clint Barmes is also getting a serious look.

Who ever doesn’t start appears to be penciled in at the No. 2 spot in the lineup.

“I am comfortable at either,” Sullivan said. “If you are hitting in the two hole you have Todd Helton hitting behind you, which is nice. If the lead off spot is where they want me I am more than comfortable hitting there. I want to jump start the lineup.”

Sullivan left spring training a year ago hotter than anybody, hitting .396 with 11 runs scored, four doubles and 11 RBIs during workouts. The Rockies would like to see similar numbers again, but only this time with more consistency during the season.

Sullivan struggled early until his big finish, going from a .262 batting average to .294 in the final 28 games. In the No. 1 spot, Sullivan hit just .245.

“Last year was a complete learning experience for me,” Sullivan said. “I had to make adjustments of the pitchers. In the middle of the season they figured out a fastball in and off speed pitchers were a little bit of my weakness. I had to make the adjustment.”

Sullivan came through, hitting .387 in September, the sixth highest average in the National League, with a nine-game hitting streak over that span.

“We need a guy who can get on base and can move the game up, and steal a base and taking an extra base,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “Getting on base is critical to any team’s lead off hitter. We are going to look at Sullivan and Barmes. I don’t want them to feel the weight of spring training. We will figure out who is going to lead off.”

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