Toronto Blue Jays: Troy Tulowitzki reaches crucial point in career

Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Toronto Blue Jays. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Toronto Blue Jays. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Blue Jays will send Troy Tulowitzki to see an ankle specialist on Wednesday, and it’s entirely possible the shortstop will have to undergo surgery.

It’s fair to say Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki‘s best days are behind him. A résumé which includes five All-Star nominations, two Gold Gloves and a couple of Silver Slugger awards, is fast becoming a fading memory.

Tulowitzki may hold the MLB record for career fielding percentage at his position, but his impact is diminishing with every passing year. And unfortunately for the Blue Jays, he is under contract until the conclusion of the 2020 season.

Making matters worse, the 33-year-old is struggling to recover from bone spurs in his right ankle. The injury became aggravated in July last year after an incident while running to first base, which ultimately ended his season.

However, even after an offseason of recovery and rehab, the injury remains. As a result, Tulowitzki will see an ankle specialist on Wednesday.

The news was confirmed by Sportsnet‘s Shi Davidi. The decision was made because the former Colorado Rockie can hit and take groundballs with no issue, but is in too much pain when running.

Already ruled out for the first two weeks of the season, this latest development makes you wonder how long Tulowitzki might be out of action? Possibilities include surgery, which could result in the Blue Jays placing him on the 60-day disabled list.

As per Davidi, the 2005 seventh overall draft pick admitted he has been dealing with the bone spurs anywhere between three and five years. However, this is arguably the worst the situation has ever been.

Tulowitzki is understandably frustrated by recent events. He spoke to Sportsnet during the weekend about his current predicament:

"“I wish I had some answers for you,” said Tulowitzki. “We’re still at the drawing board in trying to figure out what is best, if that’s from stuff in the weight room as far as strengthening stuff, is that from a rest standpoint, is that from an injection standpoint, is that from whatever different thing in trying to figure out what’s best for me and what’s causing my pain.”"

Similarly, general manager Ross Atkins admitted the way forward is unclear. However, he did add that the team will be in a much better position to make a decision, following the specialist’s recommendations.

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There is no indication this is the case, but you at least have to wonder if Tulowitzki’s career could be over. Of course, assuming he does end up having surgery, it will be sometime before such a scenario becomes clear.

Sadly for the Santa Clara, California native, he has endured injury issues throughout his career in the Majors. After making his debut in August 2006, he has missed around 30 percent of possible games in the 11 years that have followed.

Moving forward, Tulowitzki’s place is likely to be taken by Aledmys Diaz. Potential backup options include Yangervis Solarte and Gift Ngoepe, although Danny Espinosa is another possibility.

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Pending the outcome of the visit to the ankle specialist, what’s your projection for Tulowitzki’s impact on the Blue Jays this season? Further, are his days as a consistently effective member of a Major League roster now firmly in the rear view mirror? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.