The Toronto Blue Jays need shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to dig deep and rekindle that Colorado home cooking from yesteryear and once and for all be the straw the stirs the Blue Jays proverbial drink.
The offensive drop-off from Troy Tulowitzki‘s tenure in Colorado to Toronto is substantial just as substantial as the $20 million dollars the Jays will dish out to the 33-year old shortstop in 2018. Tulo has failed to remain healthy and produce consistently on the offensive since the Jays acquired him from the Rockies in the summer of 2015.
There is no debating what Tulowitzki brings on the defensive side when manning the shortstop position. The quiet swagger he boasts, the nearly automatic defence he displays with his war tattered glove and off-balance throws, even the calming visits to the mound to reassure a struggling hurler that gets overlooked in a box score. There is no questioning how valuable Tulo is but now he needs to do it with the bat as well.
Since landing north of the border, Tulowitzki has hit .250/.313/.414 with 36 home runs and a deflated 4.7 WAR in 238 games. A less than inspiring line for a guy that was a 6-time All-Star prior to the deal.
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His Colorado numbers had him on the fast track to Cooperstown but that all stalled on that fateful day in July when Blue Jays then General Manager Alex Anthopoulos shipped Jose Reyes, Jeff Hoffman, Jesus Tinoco and Miguel Castro to the Rocky Mountain state in exchange for Tulo and veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins for the postseason push.
Over the course of a decade with the Rockies, Tulowitzki hit .290/.361/.495 with 224 home runs and a 39.1 WAR. The shortstop also had previously taken home a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger on two occasions while also finishing 5th in back to back campaigns in the National League MVP voting.
Last season Tulowitzki suffered ligament damage in his right ankle that cut his season short, however, the prognosis is Tulo will have a clean bill of health by the time spring training kicks off. The Blue Jays need the shortstops potent bat performing at his Colorado standards in the middle of their lineup if the Jays are going to claw their back to legitimacy in the American League East.
If Tulo fails to rekindle his offensive touch, it could be a long and stormy final three seasons in Toronto as his remaining $58 million owing make him nearly impossible to move for any potential suitors.
Let’s hope there are some “Rocky Mountain Highs” before it’s all said and done and Tulo can get back to being one of the premier shortstops in all of baseball.