Rockies bats heat up; Tulowitzki to return Tuesday

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The Colorado Rockies, scuffling for much of the season and currently in fourth place in the NL West (33-30) are getting a nice boost for Tuesday’s series opener against the Minnesota Twins as shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is expected to return to the lineup.

Tulowitzki, one of the Rockies more consistent bats this season (.307/.373/.489) missed the last two days with a groin strain, but tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post that “it feels good,” and he expects to play Tuesday.

Tulo’s return, in addition to the improved hitting of late from Todd Helton and Ryan Spilborghs, gives the Rockies, as Renck writes, “their most powerful lineup to date.”

Many folks had the Rockies winning the NL West this season, but they have largely disappointed so far. Are they beginning to turn the corner?

“I hope,” Tulowitzki said. “You just never know.”

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Diamondbacks sign Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed pitchers Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals. Medlen will make $1.1 million if he breaks camp with the Snakes. Bastardo will earn at $1.5 million if he makes the team.

Medlen hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2016 and hasn’t pitched effectively in the bigs since 2013 due to multiple Tommy John surgeries and, more recently, shoulder ailments. Last year he put up a 4.95 ERA in 20 games in the Braves’ minor league system. If he’s healthy he could be a depth guy for the Dbacks in the event one of their big league starters go down.

Bastardo pitched in nine games, ineffectively, for the Pirates before being released last season. He didn’t catch on anywhere else after that so, hey, I guess he’s fresh?