Tulowitzki appears set for Tuesday return to Rockies

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Kevin Roberts of MLB.com reports that Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will play a full nine innings in a rehab start Sunday and is likely to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday when the Rox began a series at home against Pittsburgh.

All great news.  Tulo hit the disabled list back in mid-June with a fractured left wrist and has been on a minor league rehab assignment for the past several days. 

“Hopefully, he’ll be in position to play against the Pirates,” manager Jim Tracy told MLB.com. “He makes everybody else on the team better. That’s what this young man
has done for the Colorado Rockies in the past, and what he’ll do again.

The Rockies have to be somewhat pleased that they are only 6.5 games back in the National League West given that they’ve gone over a month without their superstar shortstop and Ubaldo Jimenez has been shaky as of late.  Tulowitzki was batting .306/.375/.502 with nine home runs and 34 RBI in 235 at-bats before his injury and is a major part of the middle of Colorado’s batting order.  If Jimenez can rebound, perhaps the Rox will reach their potential in time for the stretch run.

Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez

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Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.

The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.

The Red Sox sign Jhonny Peralta

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The Red Sox have signed third baseman Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal. He’ll report to Pawtucket.

Peralta, 35, hit a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 58 plate appearances for the Cardinals this year. But with Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list — and ineffective when he hasn’t been — the Sox could use some infield depth.

This is the second former Tiger that former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has picked up today, after signing Doug Fister. No word if he’s kicking the tires on Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch.