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 28-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 webmistresses.
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It appears shortshop Troy Tulowitzki will return from injury in time to play in the All-Star Game. But will it be in time to save the Rockies’ season? Colorado’s record was an ugly 9-16 in 25 games Tulo missed with a cracked rib. But as the team opens a critical National League West series against the Dodgers, Colorado stood only 3.5 games out of first place in the division.
Can Colorado still win this thing? Pains me to say it, but I think the West has been won. Not by Arizona, which currently resides atop the division. The prohibitive favorite is Los Angeles, because in a mediocre division, the Dodgers boast the best hitter (Yasiel Puig) and best pitcher (Clayton Kershaw). Listen to Peter Burns and I argue it out here.
What do you think? Has Tulowitzki returned in time to rescue the dream of Colorado in the playoffs?
Hey everyone, I figured it was time to put a new layout up and what’s a better day to do it then the day Tulo comes off the DL (or expected to, it hasn’t been announced yet)! This layout is made by my wonderful friend Christine! I hope you all love it as much as we do and be sure to let us know if you find any errors and feedback is always appreciated!
PHOENIX — For a team with a losing record and rebounding from a 98-loss season, the Rockies still have plenty of star power.
Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez became just the third and fourth Rockies players voted to start the All-Star Game for the National League when the final ballots were announced Saturday. It’s the first time the Rockies have a had two players voted as starters. Outfielder Michael Cuddyer was chosen as a reserve.
Tulowitzki (5,408,860 million votes) easily bested San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford at shortstop, never relenting a large lead he gained early in the process. Tulowitzki started in the 2011 as an injury replacement in Phoenix. Gonzalez is making his second consecutive all-star appearance, finishing second in the vote with 4,212,904. Gonzalez will be flanked by the Cardinals’ Carlos Beltran and Washington’s Bryce Harper.
Gonzalez started a year ago when Tony La Russa chose him to lead off and serve as the designated hitter in Kansas City.
The only previous Rockies voted to start by the fans were Dante Bichette (1996), Larry Walker (1997-98-99) and Todd Helton (2001-02-03).
Though on the disabled list with a fractured right rib, Tulowitzki has not ruled out playing in the All-Star Game. He will take batting practice again Saturday and could begin a rehab assignment, possibly with Triple-A Colorado Springs, as soon as Monday. Without a setback, Tulowitzki is targeting Thursday to rejoin the Rockies’ roster for the Dodgers series, leaving him in position to bolster a struggling lineup and to participate in the Midsummer Classic.
The Rockies entered Saturday night 7-13 since Tulowitzki was hurt diving for a groundball June 13. He is batting .347 with 16 home runs and a .413 on-base percentage. Tulo, a two-time Gold Glove winner, has committed just one error in 58 games.
“It’s hard to think that he could play much better,” manager Walt Weiss said before Tulowitzki landed on the disabled list.
Despite a recent slump, Gonzalez ranks among the league leaders in several categories. He entered Saturday leading the NL with 23 home runs and ranked fourth with 62 RBIs.
“It’s an honor to go,” said Gonzalez, who plans to bring many family members and friends to the game at Citi Field on July 16.
Cuddyer, who made his second All-Star Game, has been the Rockies’ most consistent performer. He posted a baseball-best 27-game hitting streak this season, setting a Rockies’ franchise record. Cuddyer entered Saturday batting .342 with 15 home runs, 52 RBIs and a .396 on-base percentage.
Left-hander Rex Brothers, who temporarily closed games while Rafael Betancourt was sidelined with a leg injury, had a strong case as well. The reliever entered Saturday with a 1.02 ERA, had not allowed a run on the road this season and had limited opponents to a .200 average. However, the NL team went heavy with starting pitchers. Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig is one of five players on the MLB.com Last Man Vote.
The NL starters are:
1B: Joey Votto, Reds
2B: Brandon Phillips, Reds
SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
3B: David Wright, Mets
C: Yadier Molina, Cardinals
OF: Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
OF: Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
OF: Bryce Harper, Nationals
DENVER — Troy Tulowitzki strolled through the clubhouse Thursday afternoon with a bat in each hand.
It was a welcome sign for Walt Weiss and Co., as the Rockies shortstop took batting practice before Thursday’s series finale against the Dodgers for the first time since he broke a right rib three weeks ago. Tulowitzki said he has not ruled out returning before the July 16 All-Star Game, but emphasized that he will not rush the recovery process.
“There could be three or four days where I feel great and say, ‘Hey, let’s go on the rehab assignment,’” Tulowitzki said. “It could be another week or two where, ‘Hey, now this thing feels good,’ after the [All-Star] break. I just don’t know.”
Weiss said he would not hold Tulowitzki back if he does feel ready before the All-Star break. The skipper looked on as his star slugger took a few swings and agreed everything went smoothly in the latest step in the rehab process.
“I’m all for that, if he’s good to go before the break,” Weiss said. “We’re not going to hold our breath to that, but if that were the case, that would be great.”
Despite taking what he called “very easy swings” on the field, Tulowitzki still smoked a few balls over the left-field wall. It was just a taste of competitive baseball but enough for him showed more than just a hint of excitement to have a bat back in his hands.
“I came away very happy about it — it’s not like I had to stop and say, ‘It’s too much pain,’” he said. ” … Now it’s all about getting treatment and taking steps in the right direction.”
Weiss said Tulowitki will join them on an upcoming 10-game road trip, which includes series against three National League West teams. He will be re-evaluated each day on the trip, his workouts and activity increased accordingly.
Tulowitki, who injured the rib diving for a ground ball, has been fielding grounders before the game for several days. He said he has fieldd without discomfort but did feel tightness when swinging.
“Defensively, I’m fine,” said Tulowitzki, who was in the midst of an MVP-type season with a .347 average, 16 homers and 51 RBIs through 61 games. “Right now I can throw the ball and field the ball, it’s just all in the swing. I’ll know. Once the ball has a little extra carry and there’s less pain, it should be ready.”
Despite missing the last three weeks, Tulowitzki still held a comfortable lead in the All-Star voting among shortstops and said he probably will attend the All-Star Game at New York’s Citi Field if he wins the fan vote, even he is not fit to play.
DENVER — Dripping with sweat and brimming with hope, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki came off the field after taking ground balls Saturday morning and said he is ready to increase the intensity of his rehab from a broken rib — if cleared by the team’s training and medical staffs.
To move closer to that point, Tulowitzki took about 20 swings, some off the tee and some short-toss, in the batting cage Saturday afternoon.
Saturday morning marked the first time Tulowitzki took grounders off the bat. Friday afternoon, he took some rolled to him from a short distance. The movement and throwing didn’t cause any major problems. Tulowitzki also planned to take a limited number of swings off the tee Saturday. On Friday, he felt some pressure in his ribs while taking 10 swings, but Saturday he was able to increase the activity.
“It went well — it was not intense or anything but it was going through the motions and getting a feel for it,” Tulowitzki said. “I wasn’t letting it go, but there was nothing that was bothering me. It was a step in the right direction.”
Tulowitzki, who was injured June 13 while diving for a ground ball, is faithfully reporting how he feels to the training staff. The next hurdle will be clearance from doctors. The results of a yet-to-be-scheduled MRI will determine when that clearance comes.
“Believe me, I’ve been bugging them about it more than you guys have been bugging them about it,” said Tulowitzki, who going into Saturday’s play was tied with teammate Michael Cuddyer for second in the National League in hitting at .347 and was leading the league in slugging percentage at .635.
“There’s kind of a plan to this thing, how they’re going to attack it. Since day one of this year, I’ve listened to them. But I feel good. I have no problems defensively throwing and moving around. The big thing is my legs feel good. I’ve missed a lot of time, so my legs feel fresh.”
Leg muscle injuries have derailed Tulowitzki in the past. A right groin injury last year required surgery in June, and he missed the rest of the season. The Rockies have monitored Tulowitzki’s activity to prevent recurrence of those injuries, and they’re applying the same caution to his rehab from the rib injury.
“Tulo looks great,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “Defensively there are no issues. He feels it a little bit on certain throws but he looks great moving around out there. I think he’s supposed to get another MRI here shortly and that’ll tell us the plan of action.”
WASHINGTON — Jonathan Herrera ambled to his right and stabbed at the groundball as it ricocheted off his body into left field Thursday night. He recovered to make a good throw, but the run scored.
Troy Tulowitzki would have made that play.
It’s impossible not to think in terms of his absence when the Rockies falter so badly. They began their latest season-defining road trip by going Oh(fer)! Canada, then serving as a chew toy for Nationals ace Jordan Zimmermann.
The Rockies put on a brave face when discussing Tulowitzki’s absence of four to six weeks. He will be missed. But others would step forward. A week later, all they have done is trip on the top stair. There are plausible explanations, of course. This year notwithstanding, the Rockies stink on the road. They ran into a surging Blue Jays team with arguably baseball’s hottest bullpen. The Nationals’ starting pitchers are better than their starting pitchers.
Set aside the statistics for a moment. What the Rockies miss is Tulo’s edge. He’s a Gold Glove shortstop who hits cleanup. He is like a quarterback, capable of camouflaging other weaknesses. He’s not the most-liked guy. And that’s one of the reasons he’s the most valuable. He brings energy to stretching, to batting practice, to the seventh inning with a runner on first and a double play is necessary with a missile throw. He makes others around him better — especially Carlos Gonzalez, as the left fielder has admitted on numerous occasions.
In Tulo’s career, the Rockies are 117-150 without him. That’s a reflection of his value and his frustration with a body that has betrayed him.
More than any other baseball player I have covered, he imposes his will on a game. It’s hard to do so in baseball. The ball isn’t in your hand like in basketball. He can’t call his favorite play like a quarterback. He has to wait for the game to come to him, and deliver in bursts when it does.
This isn’t an indictment of Herrera, DJ LeMahieu or Josh Rutledge. They aren’t Tulo. Brock Osweiler is not Peyton Manning.
Tulowitzki, who broke the fifth rib on his right side making a diving stop of a groundball, is expected to begin playing catch and possibly swing a fungo bat Monday. If all goes well, he could be back just after the all-star break. But there’s no way of knowing until he swings a bat and throws off balance.
The Rockies refuse to panic because they look at their division and don’t see a team that’s capable of cycling away from the peloton. There’s merit in that view, because every National League West club is flawed.
But the Rockies can’t count on the mediocrity of others to save their season. They have reached a critical juncture. Covering for Tulo’s statistics falls in many laps, namely that of Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, Wilin Rosario and Michael Cuddyer, who deserves all-star consideration.
The Rockies need their starting pitchers to win a few games by themselves to spare what is an inconsistent offense. And they need a jolt. Bringing up Corey Dickerson is a start. Keeping Fowler, CarGo and Cuddyer healthy is vital.
Tulo isn’t coming back for at least a month. It’s one of those things you don’t want to think about in Scottsdale, Ariz., when applying sunblock. No one should be surprised if Tulo’s return energizes the Rockies.
But with 17 games against the Giants, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Padres leading into the all-star break, the Rockies must avoid a dead battery that even human jumper cables can’t fix.
Star shortstop one of three Colorado stars forced to exit with injury
DENVER — An MRI on Thursday night showed that Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has a broken rib on his right side, according to a Major League source, and is headed for the disabled list.
Tulowitzki suffered the injury while diving for an eighth-inning grounder during a 5-4 loss to the Nationals on Thursday at Coors Field and he is expected to miss four to six weeks.
Manager Walt Weiss said after the game that Tulowitzki has been dealing with rib pain recently, and it was exacerbated when he dove for Ian Desmond’s infield single. Tulowitzki held onto the ball because he didn’t have a play.
Tulowitzki, who entered the game second in the National League in hitting and has been a decisive leader in balloting for a starting spot in the All-Star Game, left the game after the inning.
Additionally, left fielder Carlos Gonzalez was hit on the left foot by a foul ball while on deck in the first inning, and center fielder Dexter Fowler was hit on his right ring finger by a pitch in the third. Gonzalez left the game immediately while Fowler played two more innings before exiting in the fifth. In both cases, X-rays were negative and they’re listed as day to day.
“When he came off, it was very evident he was done,” said Weiss about Tulowitzki.
Tulowitzki went 1-for-3 with a run scored and finished the day with a .347 batting average. He also has 16 home runs and 52 RBIs, and is a perennial Rawlings Gold Glove Award candidate.
“I didn’t even see ‘Tulo,’ really,” Fowler said. “He came in [to the clubhouse], then was out.”
The Rockies could be playing at least in the short term without Fowler, an effective leadoff hitter who is hitting .302 with 10 homers, and Gonzalez, who leads the team with 18 homers and 52 RBIs.
Additionally, regular right fielder Michael Cuddyer returned to the starting lineup Thursday — and went 1-for-4 with a double — after sitting out five games due to bruised ribs.
After losing Tulowitzki for most of last season with a groin injury, the Rockies have not let him play when he’s had nagging leg injuries, trying to make sure he doesn’t put himself at risk for a major ailment. But there’s not much the team could have done to protect him from a broken rib.
“There’s nothing to really talk about or coach through,” said Cuddyer, who said he knows how Tulowitzki feels due to his own rib injury. “Pain is pain. If it hurts, it hurts.”
Triple-A Colorado Springs made a late decision to scratch infielder Josh Rutledge from its lineup for Thursday night’s game against Salt Lake City after the injury to Tulowitzki, and will most likely replace Tulowitzki at short. Rutledge was the Rockies’ Opening Day second baseman and hit .242 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in 43 games before being sent down to work on his defensive skills.
Rutledge is hitting .348 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 17 Triple-A games.
I’ve just added photos from the series against the Dodgers, Reds and Padres. Tulo is currently leading all National League Shortstops in the All-Star voting, continue to vote for him, CarGo and the rest of the Rockies this month so we can send at least a couple Rockies to the All-Star Game!
Before Walt Weiss was a manager, he was the infield whisperer. The Rockies had him put his eyes on the top prospects. He took groundballs with them, provided pointers. And when Troy Tulowitzki stopped by in 2005 after signing, Weiss made a startling suggestion.
“He was better than anyone we had in the big leagues at that time. I told them to let him stay,” Weiss said. “He was that good.”
Then he saw him hit in the instructional league a few months later. Tulowitzki hit a ball over the netting in the center-field fence on a back field in Tucson. That was an area reserved for Matt Holliday, and card-carrying members of the Blake Street Bombers.
“Shortstops are not supposed to do that,” Weiss said. “There wasn’t anything it seemed he couldn’t do.”
Except hit in the clutch. For critics it was the equivalent of Cindy Crawford’s mole. Something easy to recognize and scrutinize.
Truth is, Tulo’s never been bad in these spots. He entered this season hitting .282 with a .370 on-base percentage with runners in scoring position while batting .260 with a .392 in those same spots with two outs. These are hardly the numbers of a player in need of the Heimlich maneuver.
In this season of redemption, nothing has resonated more than Tulowitzki’s huge hits in big moments. He began the weekend with the following line with RISP: .348 average, .418 OBP, nine extra-base hits, 30 RBIs. Extract deeper to two outs in those spots and it’s even more impressive: .393, .485, six extra-base hits, 16 RBIs.
A confluence of factors have helped Tulowitzki relax and perform when his team needs him most. He credits experience, knowing pitchers and how they are attacking him, hitting instructor Dante Bichette’s advice and last season’s troubling leg injury for his increased production.
“With my at-bats with runners in scoring position, it was already a pressure situation and I had the whole place going crazy chanting my name. At times it was tough for me. I tried to do too much,” Tulowitzki admitted. “It’s really paid dividends now, especially on the road, because the situations I have faced the crowd has been the loudest. I am more comfortable.”
The playoffs are rooted in the perception of Tulowitzki. It’s baseball’s version of Arnold Palmer standing over a 40-footer. Make it, and you’re a legend. Miss it, and the regular season becomes a hollow achievement like winning the Bob Hope Classic. So Tulo’s .211 average with a .270 on-base percentage in four postseason series casts a shadow.
“At times I would get myself out. And that will still happen today because I don’t ever want to be too tentative,” Tulowitzki said. “I have worked on getting counts in my favor.”
A conversation with Bichette didn’t hurt either. Bichette, who believes less is more, provided a simple reminder that even if Tulo failed he would be in the lineup the next day. It helped alter his mind-set, allowing him to better blend intensity with purpose.
“He’s relentless. That’s what separates guys at this level. He has a great routine, and a great idea of what he’s trying to do,” Bichette said. “You can’t give away at-bats. He doesn’t give away pitches.”
Yorvit Torrealba is one of the few that has seen Tulo’s growth first-hand. The veteran catcher, who has made a carer of coming up with big hits in a part-time role, has witnessed the evolution. What do his eyes tell him?
“He’s more patient now. He knows what he wants to do, and how they are going after him,” Torrealba said. “The confidence goes from one to 100. He can carry a team. He’s shown that.”
With confidence comes a better approach. Tulo used to be an easy mark for sliders away. He’s been more consistent hitting the ball where it’s pitched, according to Weiss.
“The big thing is that he’s been able to slow those bats down and not get in a hurry. He can sense when they are pitching around him, and he’s not trying to pull those pitches,” Weiss said. “His heartbeat has definitely been under control in those situations.”
Preparation has played a role. Tulo catalogs information on pitchers, watches West Coast games, goes to bed with his head on the pillow and a chip on his shoulder.
“Some of the toughest things I have dealt with have helped me the most. Last year’s injury fueled the fire again. It made me step back and realize that people will get on the bandwagon and will get off you really quickly when things are going badly,” Tulowitzki said. “I have learned a lot. I want to be in those situations with runners on base. I know I won’t always succeed, but when I don’t, it can help make me better.”