Despite the fact they play in the American and National Leagues, it feels like the Yankees and Rockies have played each other in interleague with a decent amount of frequency. Something YES play-by-play guy Michael Kay never fails to mention during these games is how Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki grew up idolizing Derek Jeter and is the reason he wears No. 2. Tulowitzki even attempts Jeter’s iconic “jump-throw” from time-to-time.
Offensively, on power numbers alone, Tulowitzki is well on his way to surpassing ‘the Captain,’ albeit with a major caveat: when he’s healthy.
Thursday the Rockies placed Tulowitzki on the disabled list with a broken rib trying to field a grounder during yesterday’s game with the Nationals. He’ll miss anywhere from four-to-six weeks. It’s a big blow for Rockies, as Tulowitzki’s 1.048 OPS is tops in the National League. In 804 career games, the former Long Beach State standout has 146 home runs, not too shabby for a shortstop. (The Rockies also lost Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler during the game, but they probably will avoid the disabled list.)
This will be the fourth of Tulowitski’s seven full seasons that will be cut short by injury. In 2008 an early-season quad tear limited him to 101 games. An errant pitch by the Twin’s Sean Burnett broke his hand in 2010, limiting him to 122 games. Last year a left groin injury led to his briefest season yet at just 47 games.
Meanwhile Tulowitzki’s idol, Jeter, had been a lock for nearly 150+ games at short every year since his full-time debut in 1996. Until breaking his ankle in the 2012 ALCS which has cost him all of the 2013 season so far, the only season Jeter missed significant time was in 2003 when he played 119 games. That was also when Jeter was 29 years old, one year old than Tulowitzki is now.
Nobody wants the injury prone tag, but in Tulowitzki’s case it seems warranted. Shame he can’t find a way to stay on the field.
[Photo via Getty]