Rockies shake off rust with workout

Rockies shake off rust with workout

Rockies shake off rust with workout
DENVER -- Dexter Fowler spent his All-Star break in Las Vegas with his fiance, eating at Lavo and catching the Blue Man Group. Matt Belisle went flyfishing in Bozeman, Mont., with a friend. Jordan Pacheco stayed parked on his couch in Albuquerque, N.M., catching up on his television shows.

It was back to work for them and most of their teammates Thursday at Coors Field for optional workouts. The Rockies (33-52) have a six-game homestand beginning Friday against the Phillies, and seeing that most of the players hadn't picked up a bat or ball during the break, the workout was necessary and sure to result in a little soreness.

"It has been awhile, so I guess we'll see," Pacheco said with a laugh when asked if he could keep up his .302 batting average.

Most players surveyed abstained from watching the All-Star Game -- a break is a break -- but tuned in to watch teammate Carlos Gonzalez smack four homers in the Home Run Derby.

"I was rooting for him. That was cool," Fowler said.

Belisle, knee-deep in the Upper Madison River and away from cable, was unable to catch the Derby or the All-Star Game.

"Heard we won," he said.

Calisthenics were first, high-knees and butt-kicks, while Troy Tulowitzki -- who has not played since May 30 with a left groin injury but expects to be back sometime in August -- played catch nearby in the middle of the diamond. All the while, a smattering of 20-year season-ticket holders dotted the stands for a fan appreciation event, treated to a video history of the Rockies franchise: Larry Walker, the humidor, Jason Jennings winning Rookie of the Year.

Tulowitzki paused his game to watch a younger version of himself hit an RBI double to score Kaz Matsui and help send the Rockies to the postseason in 2007. And the crowd applauded when Todd Helton stretched for the final out of the National League Championship Series.

"Let's do it again!" a fan wistfully shouted.

Thirteen games back in the NL West, the Rockies will have a challenge to make the postseason.

"Obviously it's been a disappointing season halfway through. Not where we want to be, not where we need to be," Tulowitzki said.

But after splitting a series against the Nationals, the Rockies believe there is something to build on in this second half.

"We've got a lot of talent on this team," Michael Cuddyer said. "We're slowly stabilizing our pitching, and we'll continue to hit and fight. We're playing hard, and nobody can doubt that."

Worth noting

• Tulowitzki is feeling better after undergoing surgery to remove scar tissue in his left groin June 21, but is cautious not to rush back.

"There's no timetable," Tulowitzki said. "Waiting till I'm 110 percent ready is the smart thing to do because I don't want to jeopardize my career, but I want to play and help the team."

• Rookie pitcher Christian Friedrich is starting Friday against the Phillies and used his All-Star break to prepare for it.

"I went home to Chicago and downloaded some film on the Phillies, and I threw a bullpen session and lifted some weights," Friedrich said. "You're on break, so your workouts are like an hour at a time instead of all day, which is nice."

• Cuddyer was annouced as the Rockies' nominee for the 2012 Heart and Hustle Award, the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced Thursday. Cuddyer was nominated for the Twins last season.

• Baseball statistician Bill Chuck notes that Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario has hit more home runs out of the No. 7 hole than anybody in baseball. Rosario has hit nine of his 14 out of that spot.

Trey Scott is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.