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Tulo taking it easy after plunking on calf

Shortstop day to day; moving on from speculation of pitch's intent

Tulo taking it easy after plunking on calf

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki walked around the clubhouse Thursday about as easily and fluidly as one could with a left calf wrapped -- the result of being hit by a pitch from the D-backs' Wade Miley the previous night.

Wanting to be sure Tulowitzki, in whom so much of the Rockies' hopes are placed, was OK, the Rockies ordered an X-ray and announced it's a calf contusion, without damage to the tibia, which was near the spot of impact. Tulowitzki should be down only a few days, although he's been hurt enough to know not to make bold health statements.

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"It's swollen and bruised but I don't know," Tulowitzki said. "Once we get that inflammation out, the fluid that's in there, then we'll kind of know where I'm headed.

"I don't think it's serious, but then again you don't want to tell people, 'Oh, it's not serious,' then try to go run on it and it bothers you. Right now it's not serious, but you know how stuff is."

Tulowitzki was limited to 47 games in 2012 because of a right groin injury that eventually required surgery, and he missed 25 games just before midseason last year with a broken rib. In both seasons, the Rockies sank to last in the National League West, and no one in purple pinstripes wants to think about what would occur if Tulowitzki were to miss an extended period this year.

The Rockies' front-line batting lineup is as competitive as any in the NL West, but it has to stay healthy for the club to have a legitimate chance at contending.

Opponents know this as well, which gets back to the Miley pitch that hit Tulowitzki. Rockies manager Walt Weiss didn't level any charges directly, but his quieter-than-normal demeanor was read as an indication that the Rockies believed the pitch wasn't exactly accidental. In the top of the same inning that Tulowitzki was hit, right-hander Tommy Kahnle hit the D-backs' Mark Trumbo in the lower back, which led to speculation that Tulowitzki was hit on purpose. Later in the game, with young pitchers on the mound, plate umpire Doug Eddings issued warnings to both benches.

More circumstantial evidence came from comments made by D-backs general manager Kevin Towers last October, when the team replaced pitching coach Charles Nagy. Towers said the policy of "an eye for an eye" would go into effect during Spring Training.

Asked directly, Tulowitzki said, "I'd rather not get into that."

The fact that the pitch was low instead of high has been offered in defense of the D-backs. Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said the incident was just something that happens in the sport.

"I don't know," Gibson said. "It's part of the game. It can happen in spring or during the regular season. I think one of the things we've focused on is using all quadrants of the plate.

"We're not out there intentionally trying to hurt anybody. Nobody wants their guy to get hit and neither do we, but it's part of the game."

It happens.

That seems a popular explanation. It was one Weiss gave after Wednesday's game, and Tulowitzki toed that line.

"It's never fun any time you get hit, but it happens," said Tulowitzki, who said he is moving into his regular-season groove and a few days off shouldn't disturb that. "You deal with it and go from there."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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