Young makes return from bereavement list
Nelson placed on DL with left wrist soreness
DENVER -- Rockies utility man Eric Young Jr. and his father, former Rockies All-Star and current D-backs first base coach Eric Young, were together again Wednesday night, after spending a sad occasion together over the weekend.Otis Young, father of the coach and grandfather of the player, died last week. Services were Saturday, and afterward Young Jr. played two games at the team's complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., to acclimate himself to game speed. Young Jr. had been out since the previous Saturday to be with his grandfather for his final days. The Rockies activated Young on Wednesday, and placed third baseman Chris Nelson in the 15-day disabled list with soreness in his left wrist that has been lingering since incurring the injury at Pittsburgh on April 25. Young was happy to celebrate his grandfather's life. "He had been sick the last several years, been in and out of the hospital, so he's in a better place," Young said. "He knew we were there. We got there before he passed. "Throughout this whole journey playing ball, he was a man of few words. He pretty much kept it simple. He'd always tell me, 'Go hit that ball, boy.' That's what stuck in my head. "I was itching to get out here. I was missing my teammates. I was obviously watching the road trip. I'm just thankful to be out here playing this game. It really put everything into perspective." Young was able to bat in every inning and had 11 at-bats in two days in Scottsdale, and he played center field the entire game the second day. Young said he was invited to speak to Rockies players at extended spring workouts. Nelson is hitting .219 with no home runs and seven RBIs, and manager Jim Tracy said the wrist soreness could be part of the reason he has struggled. During the team's road trip, Nelson often wore a stiff brace on the wrist. He aggravated it when he made a diving catch of a line drive during Sunday afternoon's loss to the Dodgers.
Tulowitzki eager to build off good swings
DENVER -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki went 3-for-6 as the Rockies split a two-game series with the Giants on Monday and Tuesday. Although he was hitting with more authority than he had in recent weeks, he's not about to risk jinxing himself by declaring himself recovered from his slump."I put together some good swings so it's something to build off of," said Tulowitzki, who was hit in the left leg by a line drive while at the top of the dugout on Monday and limped out a triple on Tuesday. "You never want to throw it out there like, 'I feel like I'm about to go off,' or something like that, but I took some good at-bats. "But I want to look at the bright side and hopefully it'll come together. At some point in time it is, I promise you." Tulowitzki's .200 batting average with runners in scoring position and frequent fly balls during the Rockies' struggles in San Diego and San Francisco attracted a higher level of fan dissatisfaction than he had experienced in the past. Tulowitzki, who entered Wednesday's action batting .269 with three home runs and 14 RBIs, said he is aware. "You always want to prove yourself, but people are going to question you no matter what you do, and it's never really good enough," Tulowitzki said smiling and without bitterness. "You understand it's part of the game and part of the territory of what my contract does and where I stand with this team. "But usually at the end of the year I look back and say I went through some tough times, but it's not that bad. In the second half is when it's important for your team and you want to be at your best, and in my career that's when I have been. It's not a given that it's going to happen. I just hope I do get hot soon, to quiet some critics and prove to myself that I am one of the better players."
Rockies play video tribute to McMorris
DENVER -- The Rockies paid tribute to Jerry McMorris, the team's former owner and the one who saved the franchise when original ownership fell apart before the team began play. McMorris died a week ago after a long illness.Rockies and D-backs players, as well as several Rockies club officials, lined up along the first- and third-base lines while a video tribute played on the scoreboard. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, D-backs hitting coach Don Baylor -- the Rockies' original manager in 1993 -- and Rockies first baseman Todd Helton spoke on the video, and an interview with famed baseball writer Tracy Ringolsby also was played. A moment of silence was conducted before "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Rockies manager Jim Tracy challenged Dexter Fowler, who started in center field Wednesday but has lost the starting job to Tyler Colvin. In Wednesday's lineup, Colvin started in right field and Michael Cuddyer moved from right to first base -- with Todd Helton resting. But for the most part, center now belongs to Colvin.Tracy said, "I told Dexter, 'Make me play you, too; make it real hard for me. Don't make it easy on me. I like it when it's real hard.'" Colvin entered Wednesday hitting .303. "He's gotten on base and he's done a nice job against right- and left-handed pitching," Tracy said. Pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, completing his comeback from Tommy John surgery in his left elbow, will make his scheduled start for Double-A Tulsa against Northwest Arkansas on Thursday. De La Rosa was removed after one inning Saturday because of tightness in his left forearm, but that was described as a normal setback during injury rehab. If all goes well, De La Rosa is scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday and on May 27 before joining the Rockies' rotation on June 2 at Arizona. De La Rosa was 5-2 with a 3.51 ERA through 10 starts last season when he suffered the injury during a game against the D-backs. Veteran first baseman Jason Giambi said the Rockies gathered in San Francisco to discuss their need for a quick turnaround. The team entered Wednesday 14-21 but fortunate that the first-place Dodgers were the only team above .500. Giambi said the team has to guard against exhausting itself. Of the first 35 games, 18 were decided by one or two runs. The Rockies are 7-11 in those games and have spent a good amount of time trailing in close games. "It's more exhausting to lose the way we've been losing than to get blown out, 15-1," Giambi said. "You use everybody because you're in the game but you're not quite getting over the hump. You're trying to fit pieces of the puzzle that sometimes you wouldn't normally go to. "When you're winning, 2-1, you're like, here's my seventh-inning guy, my eighth-inning guy, my closer. But when you're down a run you're tinkering. Do I save Jason until the end of the game or pinch-hit him? You're using your bullpen. It's actually more exhausting. Before you know it, you're using more guys trying to come back."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.