Toronto Blue Jays: The burden of Troy Tulowitzki

TORONTO, ON - JULY 28: Troy Tulowitzki
TORONTO, ON - JULY 28: Troy Tulowitzki /

With another injury, Troy Tulowitzki is proving to be an expensive casualty who the Toronto Blue Jays will be stuck with for the foreseeable future.

Injuries are just a part of baseball, whether it be spring training, the regular season or postseason. Regardless, the Toronto Blue Jays and their fans must be concerned by one casualty in particular – Troy Tulowitzki.

Tulowitzki missed the final two months of last year, as a result of ligament damage in his right ankle. Generally speaking, 2017 was a lost season for him as he was limited to 66 games in total, due to various ailments.

Last week, as per Sportsnet, it was confirmed the 33-year-old has also been contending with a chronic bone spur in his right heel. As a result, he has yet to begin running this spring, meaning there’s a good chance he won’t be available for the start of the season.

Tulowitzki states his aim is to be ready for opening day, but admits this is no guarantee. As reported by Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, he said:

"“I’m not going to put any timetables on it. Obviously that’s the goal, but there’s still so many days in front of us here in spring training. I definitely want to be out there, but I’m not going to say ‘yeah, for sure.'”"

Even if Tulowitzki does return in time for the four-game series with the New York Yankees, questions surround what kind of year he will have? Consider that last year was his worst since his rookie season – when he only played 25 games — specifically in terms of homers, RBI, batting average and OPS.

Of course, you can make the argument the five-time All-Stars figures were compromised significantly by his injury issues. However, this in itself presents a potential major headache.

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As things stand, the Blue Jays are on the hook for $54 million between now and the end of the 2020 season. The following year, there is a $15 million club option, with a $4 million buyout.

With this in mind, if Tulowitzki is truly on the downward turn of his career, both in terms of production and durability, the Blue Jays are stuck with him for the foreseeable future. However, it’s not all bad news.

On the positive side, the Blue Jays are at least better-prepared to deal with any potential absences by Tulowitzki (and Devon Travis for that matter). As noted by Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors, the team has better depth up the middle, with Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz.

Understandably though, Tulowitzki would rather be out there more regularly last season, with him wanting to prove he’s still capable of producing. As per Nicholson-Smith, he said:

"“I honestly don’t feel bad. I just don’t want to do anything to put me back…Bottom line is I like playing this game so if I can be out there I definitely will be out there.”"

Next: Justin Smoak ready to repeat last year's success

Are you concerned about the potential absence of Tulowitzki on opening day, or confident in his provisional replacements? How would you sum up his tenure with the Blue Jays? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.