Colorado Rockies Still Looking For Real Return Of Troy Tulowitzki

By Thom Tsang
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As Troy Tulowitzki goes, so do the Colorado Rockies.

Or maybe it goes the other way around, too. Either way, I think it’s fair to say that both player and team aren’t doing so well these days … but at least they’re taking a ride down the slippery slope to MLB oblivion together?

After putting on a torrid first two-plus months of the season that saw him basically carry the Rockies to contention in the NL West, Tulo’s return from fractured ribs was supposed to give the team the sort of boost that only a player with a .347/.413/.635 triple-slash (at the time of his injury in the middle of June) can provide.

Entering play on July 11 — the date of the star shortstop’s return — Colorado was right in the thick of things, at only 3.5 games back of the then first-place Arizona Diamondbacks. A month later, heading into play on August 11? They’re now 13 back at third in the division, with the only battle they’re engaging in being the one to avoid the division basement, where the San Francisco Giants occupy at just one game back of the Rockies.

So yeah, let’s just say things haven’t really worked out too well.

Now, there are certainly other factors that have contributed to the Rockies’ quick demise over the last month. Carlos Gonzalez having to deal with a nagging finger injury for the better part of July (one  that finally landed him on the DL in early August) doesn’t help, and neither does Dexter Fowler‘s own post-injury blues (.188/.320/.306 over the last 30 days).

Even so, you could make a fairly good argument that it was the transformation of the Rockies’ best player into a mediocre one that has been the sharpest dagger here.

In short, the Tulo that the Rockies saw right up to mid-June has all but disappeared. Though he still displayed some promise with three homers and a pair of doubles in an abbreviated July en route to a disappointing .228/.274/.421 line through 57 at-bats, that part of his game has all but collapsed in August, as he’s only collected one home and no doubles over the first 25 at-bats for the month.

In fact, he’s failed to hit in six of the nine games he’s appeared in this month heading into play on Sunday, good for a .160/.323/.280 slash.

Of course, the small sample size has to be considered here, and the fact that the slump may be entirely coincidental (and very poorly timed) as opposed to health-related, but the fact remains that Tulowitzki has posted a .218/.303/.397 line over 89 PA in his last month of work with a 81 wRC+, to go along with a 23.6 strikeout rate that’s continually dragging down his 17.4 percent on the season.

And when all of that that actually makes him the second-best position player on the team at 0.3 fWAR over that span … well, it’s easy to see why the Rockies are where they’re at these days, yes?

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