7/22/2014 1:59 A.M. ET
Morneau placed on DL with neck strain
By Cody Ulm / MLB.com
DENVER -- The neck stiffness that Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau has battled off and on all season finally got the best of him Monday as the team placed him on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 14.
Morneau missed the entire series against the Pirates this past weekend with the same injury. He had initially hoped to return for Sunday's series finale, but the Rockies ultimately decided to play it safe.
"We had some time on our side, being able to make it retroactive before the break, so it made sense at this point," manager Walt Weiss said.
Weiss expects Morneau to return in "about a week," around when he's first eligible on July 29. He also confirmed that Morneau's current neck injury isn't related to the neck surgery he underwent in 2011 to remove a herniated disk fragment.
"We're always cautious with [Morneau] when it comes to his neck," Weiss said. "But it's not exactly the same thing."
Morneau first began experiencing this neck stiffness in Spring Training. It also flared up briefly earlier in the season, but it hasn't stopped the former MVP from experiencing a career resurgence in his first season with the Rockies.
After signing a two-year deal worth $12.5 million with Colorado this past offseason, Morneau has totaled a team-high 60 RBIs and 20 doubles over 89 games. He's also hitting .312 over 333 at-bats, good for the fifth-highest average in the National League.
The Rockies called up first baseman Ben Paulsen to take Morneau's place on the roster and designated right-hander Jair Jurrjens in a corresponding move to make room on the 40-man roster.
Cuddyer's MRI shows shoulder healing properly
DENVER -- Monday's follow-up examination on Michael Cuddyer's fractured left shoulder was supposed to go a long way in determining his future with the Rockies.
Fortunately for the 35-year-old free agent-to-be, Cuddyer's MRI showed his shoulder was healing properly with no structural damage, giving him the green light to begin his strengthening program with a mid-August return in mind.
"It's what I thought we were going to hear, that it's healing," Cuddyer said. "We don't have an exact timeline just because it's all symptomatic right now, but hopefully three weeks from now or so, I can go out on a rehab [assignment]."
The good news means Cuddyer can finally start working out his rotator cuff and implementing stabilization exercises all in an effort to "get everything that hasn't been used in the last six-and-a-half weeks strong again."
Earlier this month, Cuddyer admitted it would be "tough" to return if this MRI didn't reveal what they hoped. Now Cuddyer should be able to make it back on the field for the first time since suffering a non-displaced shoulder socket fracture while attempting to make a diving play at third on June 9.
"It's my job and if I'm unable to perform it, my job is to get back as quick as I can," Cuddyer said.
Cuddyer will also be looking to reestablish his value with a team with which he hopes to remain. Cuddyer won the National League batting title last season with the Rockies, but the team has yet to approach him about a possible contract extension.
"I think everybody just wants to see me healthy first and foremost," Cuddyer said. "That's the first thing we need to do and today was the first step."
Above all, Cuddyer was just overjoyed to get rid of his pesky sling.
"I don't think they're going to let it go too far but I don't want to see it anywhere near me," Cuddyer said.
Tulo gets another break from lineup with thigh injury
DENVER -- Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki doesn't expect his left thigh injury to require a disabled list stint, though he was out of the lineup for the second straight game Monday.
Tulowitzki plans to "take it easy" Monday before testing the injury on Tuesday. He also admitted an unfamiliarity with this type of injury, which all stems from a cramp he had in the fourth inning of Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Pirates, which forced him to leave the game.
Tulowitzki has mostly had trouble with groin and inner thigh injuries throughout his career, but nothing with the outer part of his leg like this.
"Numerous times in my career I've played through things like this and gotten myself in trouble," Tulowitzki said. "It's time to be smart [so] when I get back out there, I'm able to go 100 percent."
Tulowitzki will see where he's at physically tomorrow with some increased activity. Weiss still considers Tulowitzki to be day to day and would only go as far to say that "we're going to keep our fingers crossed."
Josh Rutledge made his second straight start at shortstop and batted second in Tulowitzki's absence. On Sunday, Rutledge hit a two-run homer in the first inning against the Pirates and finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Ailment lands Logan on DL; Rox activate Masset
DENVER -- Just minutes before Monday's game against the Nationals, the Rockies announced that left-hander Boone Logan had been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a digestive condition known as diverticulitis.
The Rockies also activated right-hander Nick Masset in a corresponding move, 15 days after he landed on the DL with a left patellar tendon strain.
Logan's move to the DL is retroactive to July 12 as he also missed this past weekend's series against the Pirates with a neck injury. Diverticulitis, though, is an unrelated ailment, centering around inflammation or an infection of the colon.
The Rockies initially feared a tear in Masset's left knee but the MRI revealed no ligament damage. Masset returns with a 4.94 ERA over 23 2/3 innings after spending the minimum time on the DL.
Logan has struggled to stay on the field since signing a three-year, $16.5 million deal with the Rockies this past winter.
Logan missed the first week of the season while still recovering from offseason surgery on his pitching elbow. After attempting to pitch through renewed soreness in the same elbow, Logan landed on the DL again on June 5.
Since returning from that stint on July 5, Logan has been slow to find his form, surrendering two earned runs, two walks and three hits over his first 2 1/3 innings pitched.
Overall, Logan has compiled a 6.11 ERA over 17 2/3 innings pitched but the strikeouts have been there, with 25 punchouts to just eight walks.
Paulsen called up, makes Major League debut
DENVER -- First baseman Ben Paulsen has spent six seasons in the Minors -- including the last two in Triple-A -- after the Rockies made him their third-round pick in 2009. On Monday, the long wait for his Major League debut ended as Paulsen started at first and batted sixth on the same day the Rockies recalled him to replace Justin Morneau on their 25-man roster.
"He's had to deal with some adversity," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "But he went back down to Colorado Springs, put his head down, and grinded away. He's having a heck of a season. He's earned this callup."
And in his first career at-bat in the second inning, Paulsen proved he was done playing the waiting game by swatting a single to left field.
Paulsen has hit .291 with 24 doubles, six triples, 15 home runs, 57 RBIs and 62 runs for Triple Colorado Springs and was the team's lone representative in the Triple-A All-Star Game this season.
As the only true first baseman left on the Rockies roster, he could see a majority of the playing time while Morneau rests his neck injury for the next week.
The Rockies designated right-hander Jair Jurrjens for assignment in a corresponding move to make room for Paulsen on the 40-man roster.
Jurrjens made his Rockies debut on July 4, two days after the team acquired him from the Reds for Double-A first baseman Harold Riggins. Jurrjens made two starts for the Rockies, compiling a 10.61 ERA with nine strikeouts.
Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.