For the second time in three seasons, Troy Tulowitzki will finish the year with fewer than 100 games played.
#Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki will undergo labral repair surgery on his left hip Friday in Vail, Colo. will miss rest of season.— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) August 14, 2014
In terms of the 2014 baseball landscape, it doesn't really matter. The Rockies currently own the league's worst record at 46-74, and they weren't going to be rushing back their 29-year-old prized player anyway.
Of course, as The Denver Post's Mark Kiszla noted, the dreaded 100-loss plateau is now even more of a legitimate possibility:
News: Troy Tulowitzki to have season-ending hip surgery. Views: 100 losses now definitely in play for Rockies. And: Get well, Tulo.— Mark Kiszla (@markkiszla) August 14, 2014
That "injury prone" label is getting harder and harder to remove. Tulo has missed at least 35 games in four of the past five seasons, and by the time this campaign is over, he will have missed a whopping 222 games over the last three years.
For any player, that's disappointing to see. But for Tulo and his immense talent, it's incredibly frustrating.
Through 91 games this season, he was on another level at the plate, leading the NL in batting average (.340), on-base percentage (.432), slugging percentage (.603) and OPS (1.035).
Throw in his vacuum-like defense, and the race for the game's best shortstop—when he's healthy—isn't a close one. Grantland's Jonah Keri noted his immense worth to the Rox:
Moreover, it's going to be interesting to see how all of these injuries affect his trade value. He has been rumored to be on the trade block for quite some time now, but as one National League executive noted, via the New York Daily News' John Harper, his price is dropping:
NL exec on Tulo's injuries: "If Rox decide to trade him they'll have to eat a lot of money to get big return. Or trade him to the Yankees.''— John Harper (@NYDNHarper) August 13, 2014
Tulo is set to earn $114 million over the next six seasons, and if he can't stay off the shelf, teams are unsurprisingly going to be a little gun-shy—no matter what he's capable of when healthy.
For the sake of the Rockies and the league as a whole, hopefully Tulowitzki can return in 2015 in prime health and churn out a full season. Because when he's playing, there are few players who are more exciting to watch.