The Rockies' most promising play of the spring didn't produce a run and didn't feature a home run or a strikeout.

It was a simple single to right field last Saturday against the Angels.

Troy Tulowitzki took off as if he were scoring. It didn't matter that Josh Hamilton was charging quickly or that he has one of the game's best arms. Tulo rounded third before coach Stu Cole flashed the red light.

That stop has left Tulo more encouraged about the start of this season more than anything else he has done the past six weeks.

"I ran like they were going to send me home. And I had to stop hard and go back. In a lot of ways, that's more difficult than just running all the way through,"

Tulowitzki said. "I have been very happy with how the leg has responded. I am not going to sit here and say that I won't get hurt, but I have a lot of confidence based on how I feel."

Tulowitzki's personality mirrors his improved health. He has been more outgoing in drills. While running bases Tuesday, he razzed Carlos Gonzalez. Gonzalez returned the favor, saying that Tulo would have been out easily after getting a poor jump on a stolen-base drill.

The Rockies are a different team with Tulo and CarGo on the field — even on the practice field, where they challenge each other.

"Believe it," Gonzalez said. "There's no doubt about that."