Troy Tulowitzki came into Thursday with a .347 batting average, 16 HR and 51 RBI while leading the National League in slugging percentage (.635) and OPS (1.048). Tulo has always been a top offensive producer from the shortstop position when healthy, and he’s been reasonably healthy this year after missing four months with a groin injury in 2012. He’s been playing through some rib soreness, and last night he was forced to leave the game after diving for a ball up the middle. An MRI after the game revealed a fractured rib which will have the slugger out a minimum of 4-6 weeks. A tough blow for fantasy owners for sure, but you almost had to expect it by drafting Tulo. Not so say he is injury prone... OK, yes I am saying that. Look, there are players out there that play every day-- Robinson Cano rarely misses a game, and Cal Ripken surely played through some painful games in his quest to become baseball’s last Iron Man. Tulowitzki has now hit the DL in five of his six major league seasons. The Rockies need him, as evidenced by their 30-30 record with and 34-68 record without him last year. For fantasy purposes, this type of injury really could make or break your season. The Rockies plan on calling up Josh Rutledge to take over at short. Rutledge was demoted earlier this year but has since caught fire at Triple-A. He was a nice surprise last season when called upon so Tulo owners need to be hasty and pick him up NOW.
Rangers on the Mend
The Texas Rangers have been snake bitten by the injury bug recently. Ian Kinsler (ribs), Mitch Moreland (hamstring) and Alexi Ogando (biceps, shoulder) all have missed time, with Ogando hitting the DL twice now. Colby Lewis is still working his way back from offseason surgery. The Rangers have lost three straight (3-7 over last 10) and have relinquished the lead in the AL West to the streaking Athletics (7-3 over last 10). The good news is that help is on the way. Kinsler began his rehab on Thursday going 0-4 with 2 K and Ogando is scheduled to throw on Friday. Moreland meanwhile will test his hamstring over the weekend and could begin a rehab assignment Monday. The Rangers will have a decision to make when Kinsler returns: Jurickson Profar has been good during his time with the team and even though they don't want to, they may need to try him in the outfield with David Murphy struggling mightily in June.
Edward Mujica finished off save number 19 in as many tries; Rafael Soriano closed out number 17 for the Nats; Casey Janssen got save number 14; and Jonathan Papelbon nailed down number 12.
AL Hot Shots
- Nelson Cruz got the boomstick out and swatted his 16th homer in a Rangers' loss.
- David Ortiz doesn't want to participate in the Home Run Derby, but he hit number 14 on Thursday. Mike Carp also homered for his 7th in limited time this year.
- Elliot Johnson and Eric Hosmer homered for the Royals, both for their second on the year.
- Kevin Gausman was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk following Thursday’s start. He still has work to do.
- Josh Donaldson exited the marathon between the A’s and Yankees in the 16th due to a hamstring soreness and is considered day-to-day.
- Derek Jeter has been cleared to resume running and “baseball activities” (such as sunflower seeding, gum chewing, wearing cleats etc.)
- Alex Cobb was reinstated from the bereavement list on Thursday.
NL Hot Shots
- Matt Cain was fantastic as he shut out the Pirates for 6.2 innings with 2 hits and 2 walks. He only struck out 3 but his command was on point. Hunter Pence hit his 11th homer of the season in the Giants’ rout.
- Adam Wainwright improved to 10-3 with a fabulous performance, handing Matt Harvey his first loss of the season. Marlon Byrd homered for his 10th on the season and Edward Mujica sweated out his 19th save in 19 opportunities.
- Ryan Zimmerman homered and drove in three leading the Nationals to a comeback victory over the Rockies on Thursday. Ian Desmond was 4-for-4 in the game with a run scored and an RBI.
- Carlos Gonzalez left Thursday’s game before even getting an at-bat as he was hit by a foul ball in the ankle while standing in the on deck circle. X-Rays were negative and he is day-to-day. Tyler Colvin was 1-for-4 with an RBI in his place and will probably start Friday.
- Julio Borbon singled home the winning run with two outs in the 14th and Chicago beat the Reds 6-5 on Thursday to end Cincinnati's record 12-game winning streak at Wrigley Field.
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Follow Shawn Caswell on Twitter, or don’t: @CasKnowsRoto