Welcome to Tulo Fans, your ultimate online resource center for the athletic talent Troy Tulowitzki! We provide the latest information, news and photos to keep you up to date. If you don't know already, Tulo is the 27-year-old two-time Gold Glove & Silver Slugger All-Star shortstop for the Colorado Rockies. If you have any questions, comments, concerns or if you'd like to contribute to the site, feel free to contact the webmistress
DENVER — Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez was placed in the starting lineup in last year’s All-Star Game as the designated hitter, a position not available on the National League ballot. Now he has a chance to win an election.
Gonzalez and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who was invited to the All-Star Game in 2010 and ’12, highlight the Rockies’ contingent on the 2013 All-Star ballot, which was released Wednesday. The Rockies also have candidates for first-time trips in catcher Wilin Rosario and center fielder Dexter Fowler, both off to strong starts, as well as right fielder-first baseman Michael Cuddyer, who represented the Twins in 2011 and could put up All-Star worthy numbers with the Rockies this year.
The process for determining which Rockies will be voted to the starting National League squad — a process in the hands of fans — for this year’s All-Star Game, on July 16 at Citi Field in New York, begins Wednesday. Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites — online or via your mobile device — using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, July 4, at 9:59 p.m. MT.
Coming off a last-place finish in the NL West last season, the Rockies started this year as one of baseball’s hottest teams. Gonzalez, with his impressive power and series of highlight plays in the field, and Tulowitzki, with his early-season run production that put the Rockies in the lead, were two key reasons, but not the only ones.
Fowler hit a career-high 13 home runs last year, but he had already stroked seven by mid-April. Rosario continued the power that led to 28 home runs last year. Cuddyer took much of last year adjusting to the NL and dealt with injuries toward the end of the year, but this year he has been the run producer the Rockies expected when they signed him to a three-year contract before last season.
Here is how fans can help put any or all of these players on the NL squad:
Fans may submit twenty-five (25) online ballots during the voting period, but can also earn a one-time bonus of ten (10) additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, visit www.mlb.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans can also once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league whom they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2013 Home Run Derby — part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day — will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 6 p.m. MT on Monday, July 15.
The 2013 American League and NL All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 7, on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com on MLB.com.
And the voting doesn’t end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International’s independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
The star shortstop doesn’t play past Memorial Day.
A widely ridiculed pitching system yields the league’s worst ERA.
The team’s owner labels his chastised general manager as “head and shoulders” above the other GMs.
98 losses: A franchise worst.
And as the dust settles, the manager resigns and walks away, effectively cleansing his hands of the mess.
Yes, the Colorado Rockies 2012 season was truly a year to forget.
Where to start in 2013? The organization is still stinging from possibly the most embarrassing season in its 20-year history, and many fans blame management for the self-inflicted wounds. But things can’t possibly get any worse, can they?
The anticipation and promise of Opening Day in Colorado is synonymous with the bright days and melting snow, but the difficulties of last season continue to stick around and hamper expectations. We can’t free ourselves from the scars of 2012. Grim reminders constantly pop up like Harlem Shake videos on your Facebook newsfeed, from the person whose friend request you accepted only out of pity. “The Year of the Fan” was “The Year that Couldn’t End Soon Enough.” But just like the cult dance phenomenon (seriously, the Harlem Shake is dead, so stop posting vids), there’s a point where you accept the past and move on.
Walt Weiss, the former Rox shortstop and sixth manager in club history, is the poster child of the franchise’s save-face project. Although Weiss doesn’t have any professional managerial experience, the Colorado faithful are hopeful his blue collar, old school approach to the game reflects his coaching philosophy. After all, the downtrodden Rox definitely appeared to need a shot in the arm after the loss of Troy Tulowitzki last May. The majority of the team looked either like Eeyore in pinstripes or a hippie who baked too much pot into his brownies. Keep in mind, Amendment 64 passed after Colorado’s season mercifully came to a close.
Weiss’ return to his old stomping grounds can certainly ignite some life into the team, and his days playing under future Hall of Fame bench boss Tony La Russa provided him with great perspective. The 49-year-old skipper will have his hands full organizing a lineup overflowing with position battles, but above all else, he doesn’t want the stains of 2012 to linger among his new clubhouse.
“I just want to make sure when we take the field there’s not a fear of failure, not a safety-first mentality. I don’t think you can thrive at this level with that type of mindset,” Weiss told Thomas Harding of MLB.com. “Fear of failure can be something that drives you, but you don’t want it to be something that inhibits your ability.”
The Rox beleaguered pitching staff can take note of such comments. After blowing away the rest of the league in every category you don’t want to lead, Colorado trots out a similar starting lineup with waiver wire pickups and a handful of talented, yet struggling, youngsters.
Jeff Francis was looking for a job last June and is now arguably Colorado’s top option. John Garland, who was signed earlier in the week, hopes to follow the same path as Francis after missing all of last season with shoulder issues. Juan Nicasio’s talent is unquestionable, but his ability to stay healthy is not. Ditto with Jorge de la Rosa. And finally, former blue-chip prospects Christian Friedrich and Drew Pomeranz are flirting with the feared “Draft Day Busts” label.
For the Rockies to succeed, Weiss singled out the Latin American trio of Nicasio, de la Rosa, and Jhoulys Chacin to repair the team’s makeshift starting lineup. If Colorado’s starter can somehow outlast the opposition, Weiss will have plenty of enticing options out of the bullpen. Rafael Betancourt has a proven track record and Matt Belisle has evolved into one of the league’s premier set-up men. The newly acquired Wilton Lopez is a great commodity, compiling a 6-3 record and 2.17 ERA last season while toiling away with the Houston Astros.
Bottom line…can the pitching honestly be worse than last year’s train wreck? Honestly, no.
Troy Tulowitzki is back in the lineup, and his chronic groin problems (knock on wood) are finally resolved.
Josh Rutledge filled in admirably for Tulo and is projected to hit second in a lethal batting order.
Wilin Rosario burst into the MLB with a bang. To be exact, 28 of them, a Rockies rookie record, amounting to a homer each 14.1 at bats, tops among all catchers.
Dexter Fowler finally became the leadoff guy management envisioned.
Producing runs has never been an issue on the Front Range, and the Rox finished second in batting average and sixth in runs scored in the MLB. However, the numbers are largely skewed due to their home park, which doubles as a hitter’s playground and pitcher’s cemetery. Colorado’s issue on the road is always a hot topic. The splits between home and away are staggering. The batting average dipped 65 points (.306 to .241), on base percentage was a 76 point difference (.367 to .291), and exactly 100 less extra base hits occurred on the road as opposed to home.
Enter: Troy Tulowitzki.
Is the franchise player really that vital to one team’s success? In a word, yes. Tulo is the unabashed go-to guy of the team, and even though he’s still learning the ropes of the leadership role, Colorado is a different team with him in the lineup. The squad has reached the postseason two of the three times he has played more than 140 games in a season, and fellow star Carlos Gonzalez admitted his game falters without No. 2′s presence. The numbers reflected CarGo’s assessment: sans Tulo, he batted .261 with just four homers in the second half of 2012.
“I need him more than (Tulo’s) wife needs him,” Gonzalez said in the midst of last year’s struggles.
In fact, since CarGo joined Tulowitzki in the lineup in 2009, Colorado boasts a respectable 193-168 mark. With neither of them on the field, the club is 98-136 in the same span. Translating the numbers to a full 162 game season, the Rox would finish 87-75 with the pair, and 68-94 without.
Tulo discussed the issue with Troy Renck of the Denver Post just weeks ago. “It’s important I am on the field. Not for my numbers — more because I feel like the guys can feed off my energy,” Tulowitzki said. “I believe I can create a different atmosphere when I am out there.”
Knock on wood.
Also, knock on wood that Rockies fans don’t have to endure yet another painful, record setting season of futility. Coors Field’s attendance has ranked in the top half of the league for five straight seasons, and the tired, defeated fanbase has begun to resemble extras from The Walking Dead as opposed to the frenzied, towel-waving fanatics from Rocktober.
Unfortunately for the Rockies, they’re in a division that has suddenly become one of the most formidable in the league. Leading the way are the San Francisco Giants, a team just one World Series title away from cementing a dynasty. The Los Angeles Dodgers are spending money like sailors on leave, thanks to its new management group, and are rightfully the favorites to win the NL West. The Arizona Diamondbacks are an underrated group, leaving San Diego and Colorado at the bottom of the heap.
The Rockies have a tall hill to climb and plenty of doubters to prove wrong in 2013, but its new manager isn’t going to let them become doormats for a division of pennant contenders. After being named to his new position, Weiss proclaimed; “Failure to me is not taking your best shot.” He’ll certainly have his work cut out for him in his rookie managerial season. And that’s if his superstars can avoid the rash of injuries that plagued the team no more than a year ago.
Troy Tulowitzki also has plenty to prove. Last year’s media feud with Ubaldo Jimenez went to unnecessary lengths, and the new role of team captain weighed on his game. The result was a batting average well below .300 and a very un-Tulo-like eight errors in a shortened 47 game stint. But after taking nearly an entire year off from the game he loves, the driven California native is ready to excel.
“I know I’ve done everything I possibly can to have a successful year,” assured Tulo. “I think more than anything continue to gain my dominance back…to re-establish myself as the best shortstop in the game and then to help the team win games, to get us back to the days where we were always in the wild-card talk, and get us back to playoff baseball.”
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Just days days before the regular-season opener, Troy Tulowitzki is ready to go.
It’s not that the Rockies’ star shortstop has been tentative during spring training, but he had not quite gone full out. He was still checking, just a bit, to see how his surgically repaired groin would respond.
Until Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Indians, that is, when he made a typical, charging, Tulo-like play on a grounder, and also raced down the first-base line to negate a would-be double play and drive in a run.
“I really like where I’m at physically,” Tulowitzki said Tuesday. “Last night was encouraging and I felt really good out there, especially defensively. I got a chance to run the bases and I was excited that I didn’t have to think about anything. It was my baseball instincts just taking over. I was very encouraged.”
The groin injury limited Tulowitzki to just 47 games last season.
Rockies star delivers Spring Training getaway to 18 youngsters battling cancer
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The idea was awesome: Fly 18 children undergoing treatment for cancer at Children’s Hospital Colorado down to Spring Training for a special weekend.
It was as expensive as it was awesome.
Dr. Bob Casey, who had organized similar trips when he worked at Boston Children’s Hospital, along with the community and business leaders who compose the Corporate Leadership Council of Children’s Hospital Colorado, knew raising funds would be a challenge. Little did they know that Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki thought it was such a cool idea, he would make fundraising unnecessary.
“The Leadership Council was talking about doing this event, and I always knew in the back of my mind Troy would want to do this,” said Jim Kellogg, the Rockies’ vice president of community and retail operations and a member of he Leadership Council. “I sent him a text and said, ‘Hey, do you want to take care of some kids from Children’s Hospital and some doctors during Spring Training. And this is what it’s going to cost you?’
“He never called. He just texted, ‘Sure.’ Isn’t that amazing? Done.”
The patients, along with their doctors, caregivers and some Children’s Hospital staff members, were at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick for Friday night’s game against the Royals, which was called after four innings because of rain. However, the party will continue until Sunday morning.
Tulowitzki has lost several family members to cancer. Upon signing contracts that would keep him with the club through the year 2020, Tulowitzki began looking for ways to contribute to the treatments and efforts for cures.
For example, Tulowitzki has become known for quirky programs like growing a mullet — the 1980s rock-star look of long hair in the back, short in the front — as a well-publicized fundraiser for Children’s Hospital. He also has raised money for the Children’s Miracle Network and lent his efforts to the American Academy of Dermatology’s Play Sun Smart program to raise awareness of skin cancer. There have been other similar efforts for which Tulowitzki didn’t ask for publicity.
This one was hard to hide.
The children took off from Denver on Friday morning, just in time to beat a predicted snowstorm. It rained all day in Scottsdale, and the skies opened briefly for the Royals-Rockies game.
Then Tulowitzki made all the bundling up worthwhile by speaking with the children before the game.
The group will stay in Scottsdale until Sunday morning, which Casey said was a welcome diversion from a life of difficulty. Parents are not a part of the trip so they too can have a breather and the children can build special memories.
“It does give them literally a vacation from their treatment, from their hospitalizations, from their clinical appointments, from a lot of the procedures that they have,” Casey said. “It allows them to be adolescents, which is not so easy at this time. They’re so dependent on other people. But they can be semi-independent for the weekend. Also, it gives them a chance to be with other kids who have had similar experiences. They can have some solidarity and connection with other kids who have gone through similar challenges.”
It also helps with treatment, Casey said.
“The side benefit is we get to see the kids away from the hospital,” Casey said. “I’ve already had somebody on our staff say, ‘I never knew that about this kid. I’ve never seen him so excited and so verbal.’ We get to see more who they are, which helps us when we go back to the hospital to treat them better, attend to them better.”
Casey was touched by the way this trip came about.
“It’s pretty unusual — we did not have that opportunity in Boston,” Casey said. “That was not how the trip was funded. It was a hodgepodge of funding sources. It certainly was not what we had expected but it was amazing that it happened, and Jim Kellogg facilitated that. Troy stepped up, he and his wife.”
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The past became present Monday as Troy Tulowitzki, the former Gold Glove shortstop, reappeared during the Rockies’ 9-1 win over the Rangers.
“Every time he passes a test it gives us a peace of mind,” manager Walt Weiss said. “He’s in a really good place.”
Tulo provided the most significant highlight, charging a groundball and throwing off balance to erase the speedy Craig Gentry at first base. He moved easily, showing no hesitation. Tulowitzki has not been tested defensively since last May before he injured his left groin.
The two-time all-star shortstop was involved in three defensive plays Monday and had no issues.
“On that groundball, it came naturally. I didn’t have to think about it. I just let my instincts take over,” said Tulowitzki, who is not expected to play Tuesday as part of his planned early schedule.
He added a hard two-RBI single in his second at-bat. He has driven in three runs in four plate appearances.
“Hitting in the middle of the order, it’s important to get those runs home. We have preached a lot about it in camp, so it was nice to get a two-out hit,” Tulowitzki said.
Fast and curious. Unless the Angels hit Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos back-to-back there won’t be a faster leadoff, No. 2-hitter combination than Dexter Fowler and Eric Young Jr. The two created havoc Monday, with Fowler tripling and Young scoring twice.
Weiss wants to carve out playing time for Young, which is why he has played second, center and left, and will soon spend time in right field and at third base. He hasn’t played infield regularly for two years.
“I am ready for anything,” Young said. “Whatever helps me get in there, I will do it.”
If nothing else, Young could help create a more functional Sunday lineup, a typical rest day for regulars. The Rockies are 11-41 on Sundays over the past two seasons.
SCOTTSDALE, ariz. — For the first time in his career, uncertainty defines Troy Tulowitzki. He believes his surgically repaired left leg will be fine, but he won’t know until he plays several spring training games. He wants to stay in Colorado — it’s why he agreed to a Rockie-for-life contract through 2020 — but realizes there are no guarantees if the franchise doesn’t climb out of the abyss.
“With my leg, I just don’t know. I feel great, but I am not going to throw it out there that I won’t get hurt. I don’t know that. But I have done everything possible to prepare for this season,” Tulowitzki said. “With (manager) Walt (Weiss) here, it’s a fresh start. I am excited. It’s a new chapter in my book. But we need to turn things around quickly, and if we don’t, there’s a possibility I won’t be here. We are a team that doesn’t spend a whole bunch of money, so if we don’t get this going in the right direction, anything can happen.”
In a wide-ranging, 30-minute interview in the Rockies’ clubhouse at Salt River Fields, the two-time all-star discussed several topics with The Denver Post, including leadership, his relationship with fellow all-star Carlos Gonzalez and his desire to remain at shortstop.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Each day that Josh Rutledge arrives at the Rockies’ Spring Training complex, he dresses right beside star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
If it’s by design, it wasn’t Tulowitzki’s, since he didn’t express an opinion about the clubhouse plan. And Rutledge’s only Major League experience was last year, when he came up from Double-A Tulsa to play shortstop after a left groin injury forced Tulowitzki to the disabled list. Guys with that little big league time have no choice in their clubhouse real estate.
But wouldn’t it be nice if they could be neighbors for a while?
Rutledge turned heads to the tune of a .274 batting average, eight home runs and 37 RBIs in 73 games. The performance led the Rockies to give Rutledge a crack at the starting second-base job.
Rutledge has started the process of getting acquainted with Tulowitzki. Late last season, as Tulowitzki was finishing his recovery and rehab from the injury, the two worked together during batting and infield practice. They were in Scottsdale nearly a week before full-squad workouts began.
“We’re just getting the feeling where we’re comfortable with each other is definitely a key,” Rutledge said. “We’re well on our way to already being there.”
It helps that Tulowitzki is easy to work with. He’s had to be.
Since making the Majors in 2006, Tulowitzki has had a lengthy list of keystone partners — Kazuo Matsui, Jamey Carroll, Jeff Baker, Clint Barmes, Eric Young Jr., Chris Nelson, Jonathan Herrera, Mark Ellis and Marco Scutaro, all of whom had a significant number of games alongside Tulowitzki. Add to that the fact that DJ LeMahieu played second base while Rutledge was at short last year, and you have a position that has been a merry-go-round.
None of this stopped Tulowitzki from winning Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and All-Star Game trips in his last two healthy seasons, or finishing in the top 10 in National League Most Valuable Player voting three times. He has said in the past that the time it takes to develop a partnership is overrated.
Still, he sees Rutledge as having traits that could give him staying power.
“Work ethic-wise, he’s someone you don’t have to challenge in that direction,” Tulowitzki said. “He has that already, and that’s impressive as a young player. He gets his swings in the cage. He works real hard in the weight room. He’s not afraid to work. So that’s awesome.”
Rutledge, 23, the Rockies’ third-round pick in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft, was hot for most of the time he was in the Majors last year. But he also experienced a healthy amount of downside.
From his debut on July 13 to a 3-for-5 performance against the Padres on Sept. 1, Rutledge hit .353 with seven home runs, 27 RBIs, 13 doubles and four triples. However, having not played more than 113 games in a professional season before last year, the dropoff was painful and ugly. He hit .181 with one home run and 10 RBIs in the final 31 games. A quadriceps issue made the final month painful. By year’s end, he had played 160 total games between Tulsa and Colorado — almost the equivalent of a full big league schedule, all while dealing with the intensity change in jumping two levels.
“It was good for me to get that experience and realize how long a season actually is and grow on that,” Rutledge said.
All that Major League action gave opposing pitchers information that can be used against him, but Rutledge saw quite a bit of video as well.
“I spent a good bit of the offseason looking at swings from last year of myself and making some adjustments,” Rutledge said. “I felt like that was a key to me. I’ve never really had the opportunity to use video as much. It’s definitely helped me to be able to see what I’m doing and to make adjustments.
“Anybody that’s in the big leagues can hit. It’s just all about pitch selection and getting your pitch. That’s key for any hitter, not just me. Take what they give you, not try to do too much with what they give you.”
To help Rutledge’s learning curve, manager Walt Weiss has told him to concentrate on playing second. He would move back to short only if the team lost Tulowitzki and the Rockies didn’t like their other options.
If all goes as planned, the Rockies will have an up-the-middle mix of experience, with Tulowitzki and potential Gold Glove center fielder Dexter Fowler, and youth, with second-year men in Rutledge and catcher Wilin Rosario.
“It can work,” Weiss said. “When you talk about the youth in Rosario and Rutledge, they’re two dynamic athletes. I think overall there’s a nice mix of veteran players and youthful players on our roster. That’s not a concern with the youth up the middle.”
But Rutledge’s success brings no guarantees. LeMahieu, benefitting from the regular playing time and some swing adjustments that former manager Jim Tracy and former hitting coach Carney Lansford gave him, finished the year hitting .297. While Rutledge’s power potential gives him an inside shot at the job, LeMahieu is striving to change the plans.
The Rockies, as history shows, have been known to change their second-base plans.
Rutledge vows to take an even-keeled approach to his assignment and any challenges.
“I feel like if I just play my game, I have a good opportunity in front of me. It helped getting a lot of experience out of me, just to kind of get through the nerves,” he said. “But any player coming back is going to be real anxious to get going again. It’s not really nerves but if you don’t really get butterflies playing this game, you feel like you’re doing the right thing.”
Troy Tulowitzki is pacing himself this spring. His surgery-repaired left groin is healthy, and he wants it to stay that way. So rather than take 50 groundballs during a drill, he might take 20. He needs to stay sharp without compromising strength that might make him vulnerable to injury. Hitting is less an issue as you can see from my knothole gang vantage point video. Dante Bichette, the new hitting coach who knows a little something about crushing home runs for the Rockies, was impressed.
“There are a lot of things to like,” Bichette said.
Tulowitzki hit .287 last season with eight home runs and 27 RBIs in 47 games. He injured his left groin during the second game of the season while turning a double play. The nagging injury became a major problem when he suffered a more severe strain breaking out of the batter’s box on May 30. After a setback during a Triple-A rehab assignment, Tulo underwent surgery to remove scar tissue irritating a nerve. Physical therapy has left him at 100 percent, he said. He is anxious to play in games to test his leg.
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