8/6/2014 3:19 A.M. ET
Weiss encouraged by Tulo's progress
By Cody Ulm / MLB.com
DENVER -- The simple action of running probably doesn't seem like much to most, but in Troy Tulowitzki's case, it's enough to make Rockies manager Walt Weiss feel Tulo may be ahead of schedule with his left hip flexor injury.
"I'm a little encouraged -- cautiously -- but I think it's a good sign to have him running like he is right now," Weiss said.
Tulowitzki hasn't been able to perform even the simplest of baseball activities since suffering the injury on July 19. And considering his history of lower body injuries, Weiss didn't give him much of a shot in returning from the disabled list when he was first eligible, which was Monday.
Yet the sight of Tulowitzki doing some light running pregame gave Weiss enough confidence to say his DL time "maybe won't be as long as I thought it would."
Tulowtizki underwent a dry needling procedure late last month in an effort to increase his blood flow and, in turn, speed up the healing process.
Tulowitzki had been playing at an exceptional level before landing on the DL on July 22. In 91 games before the injury, Tulowitzki led the Majors in batting average (.340), on-base percentage (.432), and slugging (.603).
CarGo pinch-hits in loss to Cubs
DENVER -- While Carlos Gonzalez hasn't been able to catch many breaks this season, he does appear to have dodged a bullet with his right ankle injury.
Gonzalez was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game Tuesday, but he did pinch-hit, drawing a walk in the ninth inning in the Rockies' 6-5 loss in the opener against the Cubs.
Manager Walt Weiss said he will "probably" be back starting in right field Wednesday.
After injuring his ankle on a highlight-worthy sliding catch in foul territory Friday in Detroit, Weiss thought Gonzalez could miss an extended amount of time. Now, the surprising amount of progress he's made has ensured a stint on the disabled list won't be necessary.
"He's [someone] who I thought was going to be a possible DL situation," Weiss. "But he's made a lot of improvement and I want to give him a day to do some baseball activity."
More than anything, though, Weiss is just hoping Gonzalez can now avoid these minor bumps and bruises long enough to find his groove at the plate.
Since returning from finger surgery on July 11, Gonzalez has hit .170 (9-for-53) with just three walks to 21 strikeouts. Considering he missed almost all of June with his nagging finger issues, Weiss isn't surprised he's been slow to come around.
"When you miss big chunks of time, it's very challenging in this game to jump back in midstream when guys have been playing every day," Weiss said. "There's a price that you pay, usually in performance -- at least for a while -- to get caught up to the speed of the game and find that rhythm and timing again."
Before Saturday's injury, he's also battled another ankle injury along with his chronic knee woes since rejoining the Rockies. That hasn't stopped him from flashing his five-tool abilities at times, yet as Weiss knows, it's about being able to string some success together.
"Obviously he's supremely talented," Weiss said. "He could probably take six months off and hit a ball 450 feet, but the consistency of doing it is what is affected."
Through 66 games this season, Gonzalez is batting a career-worst .237 (59-for-249) with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs.
Cuddyer ready to begin rehab assignment
DENVER -- Michael Cuddyer's long journey back from his broken shoulder finally looks to have an end in sight with the Outfielder set to begin a lengthy rehab assignment Wednesday.
Cuddyer, who was batting .317 through 31 games before the injury occurred on June 5, will join Rookie League Grand Junction Wednesday for their second game in Billings, Mont.
He's expected to play a total of five games with Grand Junction, remaining with the team during their weekend series in Great Falls, Mont., before joining Double-A Tulsa following Monday's off-day. Cuddyer is set to play in four games during Tulsa's homestand in hopes of compiling a total of "around 40 at-bats," according to manager Walt Weiss.
"Cuddy has it mapped out," Weiss said. "Everything looks good so far, but obviously the big test is going out there playing, and playing the next day and the day after that."
While he's expected to see a majority of his time in right field, Weiss added that Cuddyer will get some action at first base and as the designated hitter as well.
Of course, Weiss also acknowledged that knowing Cuddyer, "he's going to get 15 at-bats and say he's ready," so there's no guarantee he'll require his full, nine-game stint. But at the moment, Weiss knows Cuddyer is just focused on getting back on his grind at the Rookie level, one he skipped while climbing the ladder to the Majors.
"He actually wanted to go be around the kids so he could impact the younger players," Weiss said. "He didn't have to, but he's actually going to ride the bus too, all the way from Billings to Great Falls."
Weiss, for one, is eager to find out how that works out.
"I've been to Great Falls and he may regret that," Weiss said. "I played in the Pioneer League, that's where I started. It's not the National League, I'll put it that way."
Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.