The Diamondbacks made it clear that retaliation would be the name of the game this year, and Troy Tulowitzki may have been Exhibit A.
In Wednesday night's game, Rockies pitcher Pedro Hernandez hit Mark Trumbo with a pitch. Later, a fastball from Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley ran in on Tulowitzki, hitting him in the calf and fibula area of his left leg. Tulowitzki immediately left the game and was taken for X-rays, which came back negative.
The incident may not have raised many eyebrows had it not been for Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers expressing his frustration last October about teammates not looking out for each other. At that time, Towers said the team -- starting this spring -- would seek retaliation for perceived wrongdoings.
“I think come Spring Training, it will be duly noted that it’s going to be an eye for an eye and we’re going to protect one another,” Towers said last October. “If not, if you have options, there’s ways to get you out of here, and you don’t follow suit or you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you probably don’t belong in a Diamondbacks uniform.”
So Wednesday's plunking takes on a different meaning in that context, at least to some. That list might include Rockies manager Walt Weiss.
“I don’t know. I don’t know,” Weiss said when asked if thought Miley hit Tulo on purpose, choosing his words carefully. “You don’t ever want your guys to get hit. Stuff happens.”
The good news is that Tulowitzki, who has a history of serious injuries, sustained nothing more than a deep bruise that will keep him out for a few days. Tulo walked off under his own power and said after the game that he didn't think the situation was serious. We'll see if this incident will have reverberations between the two clubs come the regular season.
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Below The Belt-re
Despite playing in 161 games last season, Adrian Beltre's legs have been the source of trouble for the 34-year-old in recent years.
So it's somewhat concerning that Beltre left Thursday night's game against the Giants due to tightness in his left quad. Beltre exited after four innings as a result of the injury, but in the clubhouse the third baseman said he wasn't too concerned. He was already scheduled to have the day off Friday anyway, and Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported he'd likely only miss a few games with the ailment.
Beltre has been pretty reliable the past two seasons, but he was bothered by calf and hamstring aches and pains for much of the 2013 season. Most notably, Beltre missed 37 games from late July until September in 2011 due to a strained left hamstring.
Beltre has enjoyed a relatively healthy spring up to this point, so even though he's not sweating it, it's at least a little worrisome that this year's round of minor injuries might be starting already.
Walker's was a positive one, as the pitcher threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Thursday morning. The young right-hander said he's starting to "feel normal again" after shoulder soreness sidelined him for the early part of camp. It's not an ideal situation -- the setback likely means the 21-year-old won't make his regular season debut until sometime in mid-to-late April -- but it's a good sign for Walker.
Franklin's name surfaced in the news as multiple teams remain interested in acquiring the 23-year-old's services. According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Orioles, Rays and Mets continue to inquire about Franklin. The Orioles and Rays already have shortstops, meaning Franklin would likely slide over to the keystone, but the Mets could use Franklin at his native shortstop. Franklin is currently in a battle with Brad Miller to be the M's starting shortstop, a race Miller seems to be winning at this moment. There's a strong chance that means Franklin is on his way out.
The final piece of Mariners news pertains to a former Mariner, Morales. Heyman reports that M's general manager Jack Zduriencik has had continued dialogue with Morales but that the two sides remain apart on money. There doesn't seem to be a huge need for Morales in Seattle, surely part of the reason the money gap exists, but he would give the team another option at first base and designated hitter this year. Aside from his old team, Morales' market has been mostly quiet thus far.
A couple high-profile outfielders continue to nurse injuries.
Matt Kemp, who continues to work his way back from surgery on his ankle, played two half-innings in center field Thursday in a minor league intrasquad game. Kemp came out of the game action unscathed, another step in the right direction for the 29-year-old. Less promising was Kemp's 0-for-6 at the plate in the contest, but the Dodgers will surely focus more on the positives at this point. Even if Kemp doesn't make it back in time for Australia, it appears his debut will take place in April.
Shin-Soo Choo received an anti-inflammatory injection in his left elbow Thursday to combat some soreness he's felt this spring. While not great news, it's not especially concerning to Choo, who says it's pretty common practice for this time of year.
"This happens every spring training," he said. "It’s the same problem, the same pain. Normally, it takes about 10 days, I take medicine. I DH. I get treatment. It makes it better."
It turns out Angel Pagan's mystery injury wasn't much of a mystery at all, as the back strain he's dealing with ties into the stiffness he felt at the open of camp. The stiffness held him out of a few games to begin the spring, and it appears he'll only be out a few days this time around as well. The ailment was first reported by Giants manager Bruce Bochy on Wednesday, but the skipper would only offer that Pagan was getting "checked out about something that we'll keep between us."