DENVER -- The Rockies were in batting practice uniforms and stretching, but someone was missing. Wearing a sweatshirt, shorts and purple tights was shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, doing ominous-looking half-sprints behind the infield cutout.
Tulowitzki reported his legs felt "heavy," but indicated it wasn't serious. Still, manager Walt Weiss decided not to put Tulowitzki in the starting lineup for Friday night's game against the Rays. It would be Tulowitzki's third time out of the lineup in the past four games. He missed the first two games at Los Angeles with a left shoulder strain.
The shortstop did make a brief appearance in Friday night's 7-4 loss to the Rays as a pinch-hitter. However, he didn't have to do any running since he was intentionally walked before being replaced for a pinch-runner in the eighth.
Tulowitzki went 2-for-4 against the Dodgers on Wednesday night, but during the game he told Weiss his upper legs felt tight. Although the Rockies were off Thursday, Tulowitzki, who is hitting .317 with six home runs, 24 RBIs and a .610 slugging percentage from the cleanup spot, still did not feel good on Friday. Jonathan Herrera started at shortstop.
Weiss said Tulowitzki could be back in the lineup on Saturday. After Tulowitzki missed all but 47 games last year because of a left groin injury, Weiss felt the proper move was to sit him on a deceptively cool Friday as a precaution.
"His legs were kind of sore and heavy the other day, after he played and during the game," said Weiss. "It wasn't just when he showed up today.
"I'm not considering it an injury. I think it would fall into the category of us just being cautious with him."
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.