Tulo of a Pain Threshold?

Tulo1Another season, another Troy Tulowitzki injury. Yawn…

This time, the Colorado Rockies‘ shortstop will miss four to six weeks due to a broken rib on his right side. He had been dealing with the injury for the last week, but appeared to aggravate it on Thursday night and an MRI revealed the injury. With Dexter Fowler leaving Thursday’s game after taking a pitch off of his right hand, it wasn’t a good day to be a Rockies’ fan or player. Luckily, Fowler’s x-ray showed only a bruise.

Tulowitzki’s loss is absolutely huge for the Rockies. He was leading the National League in slugging and OPS while posting a .347/.414/.639 line with 16 doubles, 16 home runs, and 51 RBI for Colorado. A healthy Troy Tulowitzki is one of the most valuable players in all of baseball. He was 3rd in WAR (3.9), 3rd in UZR/150 (17.1), and 7th in total bases (141) prior to hitting the shelf once again, while showing the power and defensive skills that led to his All-Star appearances, Gold Gloves, and Silver Sluggers in 2010 and 2011.

The Rockies rewarded Tulowitzki with a contract extension after the 2010 season, so they did get the solid production from him in 2011, adding six-years and $118 million to his existing contract; however, 2012 was a disaster and the potential month-plus loss of their star could lead to a quick slide in the standings, after all, they are turning to Josh Rutledge, who was sent to Triple-A on May 22nd after struggling in the early going of 2013 at second base.

After spending 126 days on the disabled list in 2012 due to left groin surgery, is it time to wonder about the brittleness of one of the game’s most talented stars?

tulo2Tulowitzki won’t turn 29 years old until October and it could be time to wonder whether playing a different position would take some of the strain off of Tulo’s body and keep him on the field. While you can’t jump to conclusions and assume that Tulowitzki is on his way to becoming Grady Sizemore-like when it comes to injuries, this is his fourth trip to the disabled list in his eighth season in the majors. Not everyone can be Cal Ripken, Jr., but what good is your greatest asset if you can’t keep him on the field, especially after committing so much financially into his ability to produce?

Obviously, a broken rib and a torn groin aren’t really things that you can play through, but the peanut brittle consistency of joints, bones, and ligaments when it comes to star players after receiving massive contracts isn’t something that should be ignored. Just ask Carl Crawford.

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