PHOENIX -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, sounding more optimistic by the day, took batting practice on the field for the second straight day on Friday.
Tulowitzki, who suffered a broken rib on June 13, is on the 10-game road trip with the team, hoping he will feel healthy enough to go on a brief Minor League rehab assignment and possibly even return to the lineup before the All-Star break. Tulowitzki is hitting .347 with 16 homers and 51 RBIs in 61 games -- numbers worthy of National League Most Valuable Player consideration.
"I definitely hope for that, but I just don't know how I'm going to feel these next couple of days," Tulowitzki said. "I could go out and play rehab or stay [with the team] on this whole trip if I don't see any improvement. But I've had some improvement. Hopefully, it continues.
"I need to see my normal swing in BP, not babying it through the zone. Just no pain, just feeling good."
Tulowitzki said he expects to have to play through some pain. He will likely wear a lightweight rib pad, much like is worn by skill position players in football, to protect him when he dives for balls.
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.