Troy Tulowitzki hasn’t given up hope of playing for Rockies during final week

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Troy Tulowitzki hasn’t played since May 30 and it’s been three weeks since he was supposedly on the verge of rejoining the Rockies’ lineup, but the star shortstop still hasn’t given up on returning from groin surgery this season.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Tulowitzki will play an instructional league game Sunday, which is the only rehab game option left at this point because the minor league season ended already.

And from there? “Maybe I will play in one of the last two regular season games,” Tulowitzki said. “But I have to be smart. I might just stay in [the instructional league] and play more games down there.”

Sadly, considering how the past four months have gone for Tulowitzki and his rehab process the smart money would probably be on him not being in the Rockies’ lineup for those final two games.

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.