The Rockies, currently 11 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West, will have to go it without their All-Star shortstop for the next couple of weeks, as Troy Tulowitzki was placed on the DL Thursday due to a strained left groin.
Tulo had just been warming up at the plate, hitting four homers during a current nine-game hitting streak. His OPS had jumped from .741 to .846 during the span. He’d had also cut way back on the errors after a stunning early season binge.
With Tulowitzki out, the Rockies are expected to shift Marco Scutaro over to shortstop, putting Chris Nelson, who is coming off the DL after missing time with an inflamed wrist, and D.J. LeMahieu at second base. It doesn’t sound like the Rockies have any intention of putting Eric Young Jr. back there. Young spent most of his minor league career at second, but he’s been used exclusively in the outfield this season.
As first reported by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rockies have decided to bring back manager Walt Weiss for the 2016 season — the final year of a three-year deal he signed after his debut season in 2013.
Weiss carries a rough 208-278 managerial record through his first three years at the helm for Colorado, but it’s not like the rosters he’s been managing have been built to win.
The biggest need for the Rockies this winter is pitching — both starters and relievers — and general manager Jeff Bridich is also being retained for the 2016 season to try to find some.
Colorado’s starters and relievers combined for a 5.04 ERA in 2015, worst in MLB.
Colorado’s offense produced 737 runs, ranking fifth in the major leagues.
Houston got on the board first in Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium when Colby Rasmus led off the top of the second inning with a solo home run to deep right field against Masahiro Tanaka.
It was the first career postseason homer for Rasmus, whose only other postseason experience came in 2009 with St. Louis. He slugged 25 home runs during the 2015 regular season and will be looking to cash in as a free agent whenever the Astros’ postseason runs come to an end. A big October (and perhaps early November) would obviously help that.
Tanaka retired the next two batters after the Rasmus bomb, but he gave up a single and two walks to load the bases before eventually inducing an inning-ending fielder’s choice groundout from Jose Altuve. Tanaka’s shakiness extended into the third and fourth innings, with Carlos Gomez adding a solo shot to left field in the top of the fourth.
Houston leads 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth. Astros starter Dallas Keuchel has looked sharp on three days of rest, tallying five strikeouts through four scoreless frames.