It’s been a few years now since Troy Tulowitzki had his best and really only good year with the Blue Jays. Back in 2016, his slash line was but a mediocre .254/.318/.443, but he still managed to hit 24 HR, 79 RBI, and play some of the most incredible shortstop this ball club has seen since the days of John McDonald.
As much as one might wish for it, Tulowitzki is never going to be the .300 hitter he was while in Colorado. Not that it really matters, because with his stellar defensive contributions, Toronto is still more than happy to have him in the line-up. The big question now is whether Tulowitzki, who hasn’t played a game since July 28/2017, will be healthy and ready to go come opening day. And if he is, will he be anywhere close to the player he was before getting injured.
One interesting note about Tulowitzki is that the more frequently he plays, the better he gets. Which is ironic for someone as injury prone as he is. It’s a nice feeling to know that Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Aledmys Diaz are waiting in the wings to play shortstop in case the 12-year veteran is still not fit to play. The truth is though, if he’s healthy, the best Blue Jays line-up is one with Tulowitzki’s name penciled in at shortstop.
Tulowitzki is a rare player in this day in age. Someone who prides himself on his defense more so than any other facet of the game. This approach was something the Blue Jays were seriously lacking this year. Only two teams in the American League (Chicago and Texas) committed more errors than Toronto in 2018. Even with his lengthy absence, Tulowitzki remains a leader on this team. And nowhere will that leadership yield more positive results than the example he sets on defense while his younger teammates hopefully follow suit.
It’s asking a lot to expect a 34-year old shortstop to play like he once did after being out for so long. Tulowitzki however prides himself as one of the better defensive shortstops in the game, and there’s no way he’s going to want to end his career without showing just how great he can still be at that position.