Troy Tulowitzki ready to return to shortstop of past | Baseball notebook
Troy Tulowitzki admittedly still has to get over the mental hurdle that everything will be OK after surgery on his left groin that shortened...
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Troy Tulowitzki admittedly still has to get over the mental hurdle that everything will be OK after surgery on his left groin that shortened his 2012 season.
"I guess when you step out on the field and there's no thoughts about it ... right now, I'm still feeling things out, so I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent," Tulowitzki said Monday, quickly adding that his leg does feel good.
After hurting his groin in the second game last season, Tulowitzki managed to stay on the field until the end of May before going on the disabled list. He had surgery June 21 and had a brief rehabilitation assignment, but the talented shortstop never returned to the Rockies, who finished with a franchise-worst 98 losses.
"We need him on the field. There's no doubt he's a game-changer," Rockies first baseman Todd Helton said. "We need him healthy."
Before playing only 47 games last season, Tulowitzki was coming off a two-year stretch when he was an All-Star both seasons while also winning Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.
With each drill and game that passes during spring training, Tulowitzki gains more confidence in the health of his leg.
"I've laid all the groundwork that I possibly can to prepare myself for the long season," Tulowitzki said. "Sometimes you can't control it, but I know I've done everything I possibly can to have a successful year."
Tulowitzki had a two-run single Monday in an exhibition game against Texas, and has three runs batted in while going 2 for 4 in his two games.
Weiner talks about more severe drug penalties
DUNEDIN, Fla. — Baseball union head Michael Weiner said Monday there have been talks about increasing the penalties for violating baseball's drug testing program.
"There are certainly some players who have expressed that," Weiner said. "We've had discussions with the commissioner's office. If it turns out that we have a different penalty structure because that's what players are interested in, that's what the owners are interested in, it will be for 2014."
Weiner spoke to the media after he met with the Toronto Blue Jays as part of his annual tour of spring training camps.
"On one hand, we do have the toughest penalties of any team sport," Weiner said. "Fifty games is more than you'd see for the first time in football and hockey and basketball. More and more players are vocal about the desire to have a clean game. More and more players are vocal about being willing to accept sacrifices in terms of testing in order to make sure we have a clean game."
Changes to the drug program must be approved by both Major League Baseball and the players' union.
• Another batting practice session and it was all "good" once again for Mariano Rivera.
The New York Yankees closer, who spoke enthusiastically about his first live BP session Friday, threw a 32-pitch one Monday.
• Cliff Lee looked sharp in his spring debut for Philadelphia and Miguel Cabrera homered again for the Detroit Tigers in a 10-1 win over the Phillies.
Lee pitched two hitless innings and struck out his final two batters. The former Cy Young Award winner had only one blemish, a walk to Cabrera in the first.