Thanks to their rainy 2-0 victory last night against the New York Yankees, the Colorado Rockies once again find themselves in first place in the NL West - and their Baseball Prospectus playoff odds have shot up to 29%. Unfortunately, the Rockies did it without Troy Tulowitzki, who sat last night due to inflammation in his left adductor near his groin muscle. Tulo says he's not worried about the injury...well, that makes one of us. The MRI was negative, but it sounds suspiciously related to the groin injury that kept Tulo out of most of last year.
As Troy Renck succinctly states, Tulo means more to this team than any other player. Colorado's star shortstop has only started 26 of Colorado's 32 games to date - he's basically missed one out of five contests. Even after missing that time, Tulowitzki has been Colorado's best offensive player, pulverizing MLB pitching to the tune of .348/.435/.663 (.456 wOBA, 181 wRC+) with 7 HR and 28 RBI - all numbers that easily lead MLB shortstops. He's Colorado's single biggest competitive advantage as they march towards the playoffs.
Given that Tulo is the Rockies' best player, losing him from the lineup for an extended time would be devastating to Colorado's playoff hopes. Obviously the Rockies training staff knows more than I do, but it's tough to think that resting Tulo for one game a week is going to prevent a DL stint. But if it does prevent a catastrophic injury, I think it's safe to say that Rockies fans will be okay with it. Let's hope this groin management strategy works to perfection.
David Schoenfield of ESPN.com writes about the dilemma Colorado faces with Todd Helton - specifically, how much should they be playing him given the declining production he's had over the past few years. He makes the argument that Colorado might be better when Helton sits, Michael Cuddyer plays first, and Eric Young plays in the outfield. I think that when Helton is right, he's still an effective offensive player - and if he's right, he needs to be playing in his swan song season.
Dan Szymborski (he of ZiPS fame) writes for ESPN Insider that Dexter Fowler has shown legitimate signs of improvement this year.
Patrick Saunders gives the bullpen some much deserved love.
In case you missed it last night, many members of the Denver Broncos were in attendance last night and right tackle Orlando Franklin got a pie in the face. I'm not sure I would have picked Franklin to haze - he looks like a dude you don't want to mess with. Mile High Report has the video.
Ryan Spilborghs writes about slump-busting in Japan. It's great insight into the differences between baseball across hemispheres.
Here are some "Rock-hawk" shenanigans. Tulo is not amused.