Scutaro playing with verve in Tulo's absence

Scutaro playing with verve in Tulo's absence

Scutaro playing with verve in Tulo's absence
DETROIT -- The Rockies have started Marco Scutaro at shortstop for all 16 games -- including Sunday's finale against the Tigers -- that Troy Tulowitzki has missed with his left leg muscle issues.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy lauded Scutaro, 36, who was the regular second baseman with Tulowitzki in the lineup, for his energy and resilience.

"He's in motion a lot," Tracy said. "This isn't a guy that takes a lot of swings and just jogs around the bases. There are bursts out of the box. There's moving around at shortstop. There's more ground to cover. There's the use of his arm from the hole.

"He's been one of our most consistent guys offensively, as far as the ball on the barrel of the bat. It's noteworthy, to be marveled at, that at 36 years of age he's got energy."

After awful luck with line drives and hard-hit balls to infielders, Scutaro had raised his batting average to .274 on the strength of a recent surge. He singled in his second at-bat on Sunday.

After wrapping up their series at Comerica Park, the Rockies' road trip will continue on to Philadelphia and Texas -- with high heat and humidity expected. That's only part of a grueling schedule, one that will require rest for Scutaro.

"We're getting into the midst after the day off, we go from that point right up until the All-Star break for 20 games without a day off," Tracy said. "You can't do that. You've got to give him a break."

Chris Nelson, who took the regular second base job when Scutaro moved, will likely start at short when Scutaro rests.