Rockies activate SS Tulowitzki ahead of Friday's game vs. Mets

DENVER -- Troy Tulowitzki looks at his return as opening day, part II.

The Colorado Rockies' smooth-fielding shortstop got off to a rough start before tearing his left quadriceps muscles on April 29 while making an off-balanced play.

Now, he gets a chance to begin again.

Tulowitzki was activated Friday after missing 46 game. To make room for him, the Rockies optioned infielder Doug Bernier to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Tulowitzki finished the game 0-for-4.

"It's kind of a fresh start for me," Tulowitzki said before the game. "I got to sit and watch some games, relax, figure out some things. I'm definitely excited."

The 23-year-old proved to be a fast healer, coming back much sooner than the anticipated All-Star break.

Then again, he knew he would.

"I'm still young, muscles heal quickly and I put a lot of work into it," said Tulowitzki, who signed a $31 million, six-year deal in the offseason.

Tulowitzki is hoping he comes off the disabled list swinging a hot bat, just like Matt Holliday and Brad Hawpe.

Holliday is hitting .368 since he was reinstated on June 10 while Hawpe has hit five of his eight homers after coming back on June 6.

"I'm looking forward to getting him back out there and play and let him get in a competitive routine," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said of his second-year shortstop.

Tulowitzki was struggling at the plate before the injury, hitting .152 with one homer and 11 RBIs.

He thinks his stint in the minors as he rehabbed the quad injury helped him figure out his flaws at the plate.

Not that he felt that far off. There were signs his swing was coming around even before the injury.

"Obviously, I didn't have my best swing. But I thought I was getting there," Tulowitzki said. "I was definitely hard on myself, maybe tried a little bit too hard at times to get out of it. More than anything, I wasn't very good."

The Rockies were the same way to start the season, but the defending NL champions have regrouped to win 11 of their last 15 games.

"I think we were all struggling at that point and time," Tulowitzki said. "They've turned it around. Hopefully, it's my turn to turn around my season."

In Tulowitzki's absence, the Rockies relied on Omar Quintanilla (27 starts), Clint Barmes (18) and Jonathan Herrera (1) to hold down the position. Barmes has been on the disabled list since May 24 with a sprained right knee, but he could be back soon as well.

"They're playing well," said Tulowitzki, whose team was 20-26 with him out of the lineup. "I'm not going to do anything to win games by myself -- just go in and let the team keep playing how they're going to play and kind of mesh in."

Although the leg feels good, he's not sure what kind of range he'll have. He may not be able to fully extend himself if he has to dive after a ball.

"We'll see," Tulowitzki said with a smile. "It's going to be tough when you get me out there on the field not to go all out. That's the way I play."