Injuries

Ross Atkins Gives an Update on Troy Tulowitzki

Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

It’s been 473 days since Troy Tulowitzki last took the field in a Major League Baseball game. Nearly 15-and-a-half months since the Blue Jays’ former starting shortstop faced live pitching and ran the bases.

A lot’s changed since then. One thing that hasn’t wavered is Tulowitzki’s desire and commitment to play everyday shortstop for the Blue Jays in 2019. Judging by his comments earlier this year, he still views himself as the number one shortstop on the team.

Evidence suggests otherwise.



Nevertheless, the Blue Jays have at least $42 million owing to the former All-Star on a contract which is one of the most immovable deals in baseball. Against all odds, Tulowitzki and the Blue Jays are giving this the old college try, as there will be at least four Major League-calibre shortstops in Spring Training camp.

Where will Tulo fit into that mix? Ross Atkins spoke to Jon Morosi during last week’s GM meetings and provided an update about how Tulowitzki is progressing in his recovery. (The Tulowitzki part gets going at the 4:30 mark)

In case you missed that, here’s the full quote from Atkins:

“I could show you video on my phone of him hitting. He’s really getting after it. It’s best I’ve heard him in a while. He’s very positive, optimistic about the year to come.

It’s been tough, though. It’s been a long two years of him not being able to perform at the level he wants to and feels he’s capable of. It’s never easy for an elite performer and he’s handling it exceptionally well.”

Yes, I’d characterize that update as “uninspiring”. Atkins said “I could show you video on my phone of him hitting”, but hitting is the least of Tulowitzki’s concerns. As someone who had heel spurs removed from both feet, the real litmus test is his ability to field and run, which Atkins never indicated.

“He’s the best I’ve heard him in a while” is another grim report on the 34-year-old. Not the best I’ve seen, the best I’ve heard him … as in Tulowitzki’s outlook after missing the last year-and-a-half.

It may only be November and Spring Training camp doesn’t open up for another three months, but if this is the latest we’re hearing about a player who had surgery back in March, it doesn’t paint a positive picture.

He has an albatross of a contract looming over him, but nobody’s rooting against Tulowitzki. People want to see him succeed and show some semblance of becoming an elite shortstop again.

Personally, I would love to see Tulo return next year and win the everyday shortstop job. If he’s healthy enough to play next year and he outperforms the other players at the position, then why not run Tulo out there next year?



Yet, after this latest update in his health, sadly, the likelihood of Tulo being ready for Opening Day seems further away than it’s ever been.

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.


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7 Comments

  1. John

    November 13, 2018 - 10:35 am

    The decision, made at the beginning of Spring Training 2018, after being injured for so long, for Tulo to have operations on his feet was a POOR one. The operations should have been done by, or at, the end of the 2017 season. Then he could have returned to play last year instead of taking a full year off – WITH $20 MILLION PAY.

    1. Troubadour

      November 13, 2018 - 1:38 pm

      That wasn’t the Jays decision. Tulo made that call late, to the front office’s frustration.

      1. John

        November 14, 2018 - 12:31 am

        I know. Tulo, or his agent and/or his lawyers. That surgery should have been the same year as his injury.

  2. Dave Pruitt

    November 13, 2018 - 12:42 pm

    TROY WHO ?????

  3. Max Brand

    November 13, 2018 - 2:43 pm

    There’s no doubt Tulo will be back on their team it’s been 15 months since he last played a game. He may be the only shortstop that can hit for power. Tulo is working hard as we speak to once again play in the bigs again.

  4. Theresa

    November 13, 2018 - 3:39 pm

    There is no worry about money issues what so ever. A large portion of Tulo’s contract is covered by the Jays insurance policy particularly when he misses the full season as he did in 2018. Basically speaking it’s Tulo’s job to lose.
    He is or was a damn good SS. If he can come back to form the Jays will be stronger for it.

    1. Mark

      November 13, 2018 - 7:32 pm

      Do you have a source for that? Not all contracts are insured and if they are at different rates and for different injuries.

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