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Monfort confident Rox are viable contender in NL West

Monfort confident Rox are viable contender in NL West

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Monfort confident Rox are viable contender in NL West

DENVER -- Rockies owner Dick Monfort believes the team is better than its 46-50 record at the All-Star break.

Colorado was 35-32 when shortstop Troy Tulowitzki suffered a broken rib that cost him 25 games. Now he's back, and Monfort believes the Rockies -- just 4 1/2 games behind the D-backs in a National League West that no one has grabbed hold of -- are viable.

"You've got him [Tulowitzki] back -- you don't know for how long; he's got a history -- but if he stays healthy, yeah I think so," Monfort said.

As for improvements before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Monfort said the team seeks "the right starting pitcher," but will not give up prospects for a rental pitcher, such as the Cubs' Matt Garza, who is in the last year of his contract. He also dismissed any thought that the team would trade any of its regulars, especially All-Star right fielder Michael Cuddyer, whose name has been mentioned in the online rumor mill.

"Not a chance," Monfort said. "You look at how vulnerable we are when we lose Tulo, he [Cuddyer] is a right-handed bat," Monfort said. "Right-handed corner bats with power are pretty important. You put into the mix he's a guy that has Major League at-bats, and he plays first base."

Monfort said it's possible teams will reduce their asking price for starting pitching closer to the deadline. He also said the Rockies could opt to improve the bullpen.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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