As he contemplated spring training during the winter, Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss was hoping outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, both recovering from season-ending surgery, could begin playing Cactus League games about mid-March.
Instead, the Rockies’ two best players made their spring debuts on March 9, about a week ahead of schedule.Tulowitzki played 91 games in 2014, the last on July 19 when he injured his hip coming out of the batters box in the fourth inning of a game at Pittsburgh. He underwent surgery on Aug. 15 to have the labrum in his left hip repaired.Gonzalez’s 70th and final game last season was on Aug. 8. Ten days later, he underwent surgery on his left knee, during which a torn part of his patella tendon was removed.”At the beginning, it felt weird,” Gonzalez said of his first Cactus League game. “I was thinking about running more than playing. I guess that is the way it is after a lot of months off. I’m sure the more I play, the more I’m going to just concentrate on playing the game and not thinking about my legs.”In addition to his knee surgery, Gonzalez, 29, also had a benign tumor removed from his left index finger on June 10 during a season of misery that ended with him hitting .238 with 11 homers, 38 RBIs and a meager .723 OPS.By contrast, Tulowitzki, 30, was soaring when his season was cut short. He finished with a .340 average along with 21 home runs, 52 RBIs and a 1.035 OPS.”It was nice to put on the uniform,” Tulowitzki said after his spring debut, “get back in that game mode. I think I turn into a different person when I start to get ready for a game. It was nice to tap into that a little bit.”Gonzalez and Tulowitzki each batted twice in what turned out to be a 2-2 tie against the Cincinnati Reds.In the big picture, it was another in a string of forgettable Cactus League games, but it was something far more meaningful for the Rockies and for their primary third (Gonzalez) and fourth (Tulowitzki) hitters.”That’s the first mental hurdle you have to get over after you missed a lot of time as a player,” Weiss said. “Yes, it’s just a spring training game, but it’s more than that.”In his second spring game, Tulowitzki hit a home run off Seattle right-hander Erasmo Ramirez. But more impressive in … – Click Here To Visit Article Source