Sunday Rockpile: Troy Tulowitzki in WBC, Jeff Francis out

Matt McBride wants in, but there's no room... - Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE

The Rockies shortstop says he wants to test his legs after missing so much time and having groin surgery in 2012 before the season starts, and figures the WBC will be a good proving ground for that. Meanwhile, Team Canada's starting pitching seems dubious with the Rockies Jeff Francis out of the competition for sure and Ryan Dempster on the fence.

I think Troy Tulowitzki might just want to be on a team that has a good chance of being competitive this season. Since that's seemingly all but out for Colorado right now, what's the shortstop to do? Join Team USA for the World Baseball Classic is what. Tulo puts a good spin on it, though, and instead says it's to test his recovery from groin surgery before actual MLB games begin. The Troy Renck article also includes other notes, notably that the Rockies "bottom feeding" for starters has them pushing non-guaranteed contracts. That could be either a good or a bad thing, good given that the caliber of starters in general that have been associated with the Rockies are really pretty speculative, but bad in the sense that it might also indicate there's not much wiggle room left in the team's payroll.

Meanwhile, Jeff Francis won't be pitching against Tulo for Team Canada in the WBC, as the left hander wants to instead focus on preparing for the Rockies season. Larry Walker will serve as that team's hitting coach.

Matt McBride wants on the team this year. This scenario may have been made more difficult in light of news the past few days, as McBride's abilities as a right handed hitting corner outfielder that can also play first base (and conceivably catch) means that he's the replacement for Michael Cuddyer, who's the presumed replacement for Todd Helton. Since Helton's not retiring this year, and since the Rockies don't intend to trade Cuddyer, McBride's apparently left in the same AAAA region he was a year ago.

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