Troy Tulowitzki undergoes groin surgery, out 6-8 weeks

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Troy Tulowitzki underwent groin surgery today, as expected, and the Rockies shortstop has been given an initial return timetable of 6-8 weeks.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Tulowitzki is already able to walk around following the operation, which removed scar tissue that was irritating a nerve in his groin.

Returning in eight weeks would put Tulowitzki back in the lineup in mid-August, at which point the Rockies will likely have already been sellers at the trade deadline. In other words, there won’t be much motivation to rush him off the disabled list for the final month of the season if he experiences any kind of setback in the rehab process.

In the meantime Marco Scutaro takes over as the Rockies’ starting shortstop–perhaps auditioning for a stretch-run role with various contenders–and Chris Nelson is the primary second baseman.

Tulowitzki, who played an average of 134 games in his first five full seasons, hit .287 with eight homers and an .846 OPS in 47 games before being shut down.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

Associated Press
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On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”