Tulo Fans

Photos: Opening Week

Posted by Jen on
April 10th, 2016

Photos: Photo Day & Spring Training

Posted by Jen on
March 22nd, 2016

I have just added a bunch of photos from spring training games, as well as the first batch of photos from the photo day photoshoot. As you can see, I’ve also given the layout a bit of an update. Enjoy!

Gallery Links
Toronto Blue Jays > Spring Training > 2016
Photoshoots > 2016 > Toronto Blue Jays Photo Day

Photos: Spring Training

Posted by Jen on
March 1st, 2016

I’ve just added the first batch of spring training photos into the gallery. Enjoy!

Gallery Links
Toronto Blue Jays > Spring Training > 2016

One of the keys to his acceptance of being with a new team is his two-year-old son, Taz. Tulowitzki believed if Taz is able to move on, turn the page and love the Jays, then so could he.
DUNEDIN—There was real concern last season that star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was not thrilled to be with the Blue Jays following the shocking trade-deadline deal with the Rockies that fuelled Toronto’s wild ride down the stretch to the post-season.

But now, it seems he’s all-in.

One of the keys to his acceptance of being with a new team is his two-year-old son, Taz. Tulowitzki believed if Taz is able to move on, turn the page and love the Jays, then so could he.

“(Taz) was at that age where he didn’t know or have a relationship with too many guys on the Rockies,” Tulowitzki said. “Now, when he thinks about baseball, he’s saying J.D. (Josh Donaldson) or (Jose) Bautista. That made it easy. As soon as I heard those, as soon as those names came out of his mouth, I said ‘Okay, this transition is a lot easier for him than it is for me.’ That made me happy.”

There were other circumstances not related to geography that dampened his joy last year. There was his time on the disabled list. It was difficult for Tulowitzki when his teammates were out on the field moving closer and closer to a division title and he was stuck on the DL with a divot in his shoulder from Kevin Pillar’s chin. His metamorphosis into a Blue Jay began in the final series in Tampa, when he was able to take full batting practice in preparation for his return. His spirits were lifted by the number of teammates who came out of the clubhouse to watch him take hacks in early afternoon.

“Anytime your teammates show support and get behind you, you’re pleased with that,” Tulowitzki recalled. “So that was awesome. As far as my comfort level here, I think just getting an off-season to soak in everything that happened and digest it and really get over it . . . I think that really happened this off-season. I became closer to my teammates and it’s a good relationship now. I’m excited to be here and I’m excited for this year.”

The reality of relationships in sports is that they no longer need be interrupted when the season ends and be picked up again later. Jays players, following the devastating Game 6 ALCS loss to the Royals, stayed in touch often and grew their friendships over the winter.

“I’m not a big social media guy myself,” Tulowitzki said. “I don’t have Twitter or Instagram or anything like that, but I do have phone numbers and I do text a lot and we do talk. We have group chats. We really have fun with that. Fantasy Football’s another way we grow closer and there are so many different avenues to have contact with teammates. You definitely are closer because of that.”

Tulowitzki has become a good influence on younger guys like second-baseman Ryan Goins and centre fielder Pillar. He’s doing for them what Rockies veterans like Matt Holliday and Todd Helton did for him in his first couple of seasons in the majors.

It’s about leading by example.

“For me it wasn’t too much different, just because I was always trying to hang around those veteran players that were real good in the game,” Tulowitzki explained. “What kept us close (with Rockies veterans) was that, obviously their work ethic was really strong. I’d like to say that at a young age I had had that work ethic and wanted to stay around those guys to get myself better. They did a good job of really teaching me the game and welcoming me.”

As a defensive shortstop, Tulowitzki believes in finish, not flash. He ranks first in MLB history in fielding percentage for a shortstop ahead of Omar Vizquel, Jimmy Rollins and J.J. Hardy. He makes routine plays look effortless and difficult plays look easy. He keeps the game in front of him.

“Every once in a while, maybe you’re going to get the flashy plays from me,” Tulowitzki said “But I think more than anything else you’re going to see me protect the baseball and you’re going to see a pitcher out there confident when the groundball’s hit to me. That’s what I want. That stuff your teammates see and it becomes part of their game and then it makes your whole defence better.”

Despite his well-documented offensive struggles with the Jays last year, over the course of his 10-year major-league career he has been to five all-star games, earned three top-10 MVP finishes, two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers. Playing hurt in the post-season, Tulowitzki did not collect many hits, but when he did they seemed to be huge and win games.

“I’m not a guy to make excuses, but it was a difficult transition,” Tulowitzki said.

“I think that played a huge part in some of, I don’t know if it’s struggles or I just wasn’t myself, I felt like. But the post-season, I had been there before and I wanted to come through. I think I came up with some good at-bats and came up with some key hits. You really feel like you’re contributing and really part of the team. I was definitely happy about that.”

Jays manager John Gibbons took care of one lingering issue when he said Tulowitzki would bat fifth in the Jays’ powerful order and would not be considered for leadoff, as when he joined the club.

“It wasn’t tough,” Tulowitzki said of batting leadoff, a role he had never played in his career. “I just think I was better in that (fifth-place) role and I think he probably likes me in those RBI situations and protecting Eddie (Encarnacion) and I’m fine with it. I’m fine with anywhere I hit.

“My job is to go out there and help our team win games.”


Entering his first full spring training with the Toronto Blue Jays, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki‘s health and comfort should return him to elite status in 2016 (as if he left)
Troy Tulowitzki is finally feeling a little more at home with the Toronto Blue Jays after a 2015 deadline deal uprooted him from the familiar surroundings of Colorado. Even with 41 regular season and 11 playoff games with the Jays in 2015, the coming season should be a debut of the real Tulo.

“Coming to spring training and knowing the coaches and the organization a little bit and some of my teammates has definitely made this transition a little bit easier,” the 31-year-old told Shi Davidi in Dunedin this week.

With six seasons of a 5.0+ WAR since 2007, Tulowitzki is undeniably one of the game’s great shortstops. An underwhelming start to his Blue Jays career does not change that, and coming off a 2014 season in which he posted a 5.2 WAR in just 91 games, it’s not yet time to worry about Father Time. At all.

Tulowitzki is now hoping to get back across the 130 game plateau that he’s crossed just three times as a major league player, and with some swing developments that are causing an offseason buzz, there’s ample reason to be excited for what the coming summer could hold.

“Every off-season I try to get myself better as a player,” Tulowitzki told Davidi. “I know I can be a way better offensive player than I was (in Toronto), I went through a few things and changed some things up to try and better myself. There’s a little bit of a leg kick in there, but some of the stuff I do up top is real similar.”

Beyond the mammoth ceiling of his bat and glove, there’s the still-underrated impact of Tulowitzki in the clubhouse. For those of you who fill the winter baseball void with hockey, consider Tulowitzki to be the Jonathan Toews of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Much of what has transformed the Blue Jays clubhouse in to a great strength is the balance they now have. From the stoic Jose Bautista to the warm and thoughtful R.A. Dickey, from the off-the-walls Marcus Stroman to the strong and silent type in Tulo, all of the pieces fit.

Keep in mind that Tulowitzki has five years remaining on his contract with a team option that would take him through his age-36 season.

Jose Bautista is on an expiring contract, as you may have heard. The same goes for Edwin Encarnacion, and while Josh Donaldson just inked a two-year deal with one arbitration year remaining beyond that, Tulowitzki appears to be here for the long(est) haul.

After the 2016 of Tulo, everyone will be left feeling a little better about that.