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Q&A with Michael Cuddyer as he finishes his minor league injury rehab assignment

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After his final minor league injury rehab appearance with the Tulsa Drillers, I had the chance to chat with Colorado Rockies slugger and reigning National League batting champion Michael Cuddyer. The 14-year veteran is recovering from a broken bone in his shoulder and hasn’t taken the field in a Major League game since June 5.

When he exited the Colorado lineup, Cuddyer was batting .317 with five homers and 16 RBIs. He is expected to be back at Coors Field this weekend when the Cincinnati Reds pay a visit to Denver.

Prior to playing at Double-A Tulsa, Cuddyer spent five games at Class A Grand Junction (Colo.) During his three games with the Drillers, Cuddyer went 2-for-11 at the plate.

First, how are you feeling?

I feel good. I feel healthy. I’m ready to go. My main goal was to see some pitches and get in game situations. I wanted to get my legs back and get back into baseball shape.

You could’ve stayed at Coors Field and worked out, but decided to go back to the minors. Why?

Again, I wanted to get game situations. I wanted to get my familiarity with everything back again and you can’t do that without getting into some games. You can’t simulate everything without actually being back on the field.

How has it been for you to be back in the minors? Have the younger guys asked a lot of questions?

It’s been great being around these guys. We’ve talked a lot and I’ve tried to answer any questions they might have. By no means do I always do everything the right way, but I want to try to set an example where I can and talk to the younger players as much as I can.

It’s been a tough season in Colorado. What are your goals when you get back to Denver?

It’s always better to smile after a game than frown. There’s nothing easy about winning game in the Major Leagues. I’m ready to get back and help the Rockies win as many games as we can.