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.
Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said pitcher Carlos Martínez will work out of the bullpen when he returns from the injured list, The Athletic’s Mark Saxon reports. Shildt noted that the decision is based on Martínez’s needs rather than the team’s needs, which suggests he may not yet have the strength to pitch as a starter.
Martínez, 27, opened the season on the injured list due to a right rotator cuff strain. The right-hander was also injured last year, battling lat and oblique injuries. He will go to extended spring training and likely begin a minor league rehab assignment next week. Based on that time frame, Martínez should be activated around mid-May.
Last year, Martínez made 18 starts and 15 relief appearances, posting a 3.11 ERA with five saves and a 117/60 K/BB ratio across 118 2/3 innings. It is unclear what role(s) Martínez will have in the bullpen, but he could eventually help set up for closer Jordan Hicks.