Troy Tulowitzki sidelined for a few days due to a calf bruise

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If the Rockies have any chance of competing for a playoff spot this season, they will need star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to stay healthy. That’s why they aren’t messing around right now.

Tulowitzki left last night’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks after he was hit in the left leg with a pitch. While X-rays came back negative, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that he’s dealing with a bruised calf/fibula and will sit out at least the next few days in order for the inflammation to go down.

Tulowitzki missed a bunch of time last season due to a broken rib, but he still hit .312/.391/.540 with 25 home runs and 82 RBI in 126 games. Injuries have been an issue for him during his career, as he has averaged 115 games played over the past six seasons.

Report: Indians, Padres still talking about starting pitching trade

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.

The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.

Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.

Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.

The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.