Culberson enters lineup in relief of Tulowitzki
DENVER -- Halfway through an unusual season-opening 10-game stretch without an off-day, manager Walt Weiss on Saturday gave shortstop Troy Tulowitzki a break from the lineup. Against the D-backs in the second game in a set of three to open the home portion of Colorado's season, Charlie Culberson made his first start this year, filling in at short and batting eighth.
Tulowitzki came out for Culberson in the bottom of the seventh inning of Friday's 12-2 victory, but there are no apparent doubts regarding his health. The game was 9-1 when Tulowitzki left -- and 10-1 after Culberson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
"I try to look at the schedule about a week at a time for certain guys," Weiss said. "I knew I wanted to give Tulo a day, probably this series or next series. I'm just picking the night to do it."
Muscle injuries in his lower body limited Tulowitzki to 47 games in 2012, but he rebounded with 126 games in 2013, though he missed nearly a month after breaking a rib on a fielding play.
"We talk almost daily, Tulo and I, as far as how he's feeling," Weiss said. "We did it last year, too. It felt like it went really well. We were on the same page. He ended up getting a broken rib, but that didn't have anything to do with some of the problems he's had in the past. I felt like that went really well, so we're taking the same approach this year."
Culberson is on the club as in infielder, though 27 of his 40 Major League appearances in the field have been in the outfield. As a Minor Leaguer, all but three of his 723 appearances have come in the infield, with 424 games at second base, 163 at shortstop, and 133 at third.
"He played a lot of short last year in Triple-A," Weiss said. "If you ask him, he'll probably tell you it's the spot he feels most comfortable at. He did a good job this spring. That's one of the reasons he broke camp with us, but his ability to play multiple positions and to be able to play shortstop on top of it."