Tracy Ringolsby, of the Rocky Mountain News, reports Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (quadriceps) has a torn tendon in his left quadriceps and could be out until at least the All-Star break. His agent, Paul Cohen, said a better estimate of recovery time will come next week.
After a tremendous 2007 season, Tukowitzki came into 2008 as one of the better shortstops available for fantasy owners, but even before the injury, he was not living up to the hype. He is hitting .152 with one home run and 11 RBIs. He has struck out 17 times in 105 at-bats. During the early portion of the season, he had a 0-for-19 slump and a 0-for-20 slump. Now he's expected to miss significant time because of an injury, which occurred in the first inning of the team's game Tuesday, April 29.
Last season was a breakout year for Tulowitzki in the major leagues as well as in the fantasy world. In his first full season with the Rockies, he hit .291 with 24 home runs, 99 RBIs and seven stolen bases in 155 games. However, he struggled during the team's journey to the World Series, hitting .195 with one home run and three RBIs. He also struck out 15 times in 41 at-bats in the postseason.
From a fantasy perspective, it appears Tulowitzki will be out for at least two months and possibly more, so Tulowitzki owners will have to put him on the disabled list. He showed his hitting potential last season and remains a very good option for fantasy owners despite his slump. He was usually picked in the fourth or fifth round in drafts, so owners shouldn't give up hope that "Tulo" can still contribute this year. Last year, he had a somewhat rough April, too; he hit .244 with two homers and 21 strikeouts in 82 at-bats.
Taking Tulowitzki's place will most likely be infielder Clint Barmes. Barmes is hitting .292 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 19 games. He took over as the starting second baseman after rookie Jayson Nix struggled at the dish and was demoted to the minors. He spent most of his time last season in Triple-A, only playing 27 games with the big club. He hit .216 with zero home runs and one RBI last season. Barmes could be picked up in deep leagues if owners are desperate, but it's important to note that he has just one hit in his last five games. There may be better options to consider.
Infielders Omar Quintanilla and Jon Herrera were called up early in the week as insurance policies. Each has filled in at second base while Barmes has played short, but neither is known for his bat or has fantasy value. Fantasy owners should follow the situation in case the Rockies turn to another infielder to bolster the lineup.
Ian Stewart, one of the team's better prospects, received initial consideration at second base in spring training despite rising through the system as a third baseman. Last season he hit .304 with 15 home runs and 65 RBIs in 414 at-bats for Triple-A Colorado Springs. This year he's batting .269 with six home runs and 21 RBIs in 93 at-bats. Jeff Baker is a backup utility player and filled in at second base earlier in the week as well. He's one of the club's former prospects, but he's hitting just .194 in 2008 and has a career .248 average.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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