Ian McCue, Thomas Harding and AJ Cassavell
COLORADO SPRINGS -- After two injury rehab games at Triple-A Colorado Springs -- the second more statistically successful than the first -- All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is on the verge of rejoining the Rockies.
Tulowitzki, who suffered a broken rib on June 13, will fly to the West Coast on Wednesday and be evaluated Thursday in Los Angeles, with an eye toward activating him for Thursday night's game at Dodger Stadium. Dexter Fowler, who hasn't played since sustaining a hand injury on June 25, also could be activated.
Tulowitzki went 1-for-2 and fielded several grounders Monday night and said he was sore Tuesday morning. On Tuesday night, he went 3-for-3 and scored a run.
Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger revealed Tuesday night that Tulowitzki, who wasn't sure how long he needed to play before returning, would be evaluated at the same time as Fowler.
"Just being out there on the field is nice, and then to come out of it healthy and feeling good is even a bonus," Tulowitzki said before Tuesday night's game. "There's some soreness -- I'm not going to lie and say it felt great. There's definitely some soreness, I could tell I hadn't been in games for a while. But it was a step in the right direction."
By returning this week, Tulowitzki should be able to play in the All-Star Game next Tuesday at Citi Field in New York. He and Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who has missed the last two games with a sprained right middle finger, have been elected as starters.
Tulowitzki said his priorities go beyond the Midsummer Classic.
"The most important thing for the Rockies and myself is to at least have me for that second half to try to make a run at this thing," Tulowitzki said.
On Tuesday night, Tulowitzki's bat showed plenty of life as he sprayed each of his singles to a different field and picked up a walk before he left after the top of the sixth (within the five-seven innings for which he was scheduled).
In the second he knocked a ball off the left-field wall and looked to be jogging gingerly into second, where he was tagged out standing up.
Some saw Tulowitzki grabbing at his rib area during Monday night's game, but he said he was simply adjusting the protective rib pad he will likely wear for the remainder of the season.