Troy Tulowitzki's voice is coming in loud and clear at last. Entering his sixth full major-league season, the all-star shortstop is prepared to be the Rockies' leader after a quiet passing of the baton this spring by Todd Helton.

"This is the way I have always wanted to express myself, but for the first time in my career I really feel like it's my team," Tulowitzki told The Denver Post on Wednesday. "And the reason is Todd."

Helton recently pulled Tulowitzki aside, a talk that strengthened their relationship and changed the clubhouse dynamic. The first baseman and most accomplished player in Rockies history told Tulowitzki that he should assume a larger role. Teammates have fed off Tulo's intensity, but rarely his words. Helton, 38, gave him his blessing to speak out, something the 27-year-old has done frequently this spring during infield drills and meetings.