Tulo: I’m not changing positions

Troy Tulowitzki had just finished a light workout, doing some straight-line running and taking a few ground balls before Saturday’s game at Coors Field.

“Nothing off the bat; just stuff that was being thrown at me,” he said, stopping to take a few questions on his way back to the clubhouse. “It was the most I’ve done and I definitely felt good.”

Tulo went on the disabled list May 31 after pulling a groin muscle getting out of the batter’s box the previous night.

“At the end of the day, there’s nothing you can do about it,” he said. “I prepare myself every day to try to take the field and I couldn’t this last week that I’ve missed and there’s nothing you can do about that. You can’t beat yourself up. You have to look forward to coming back and make up for lost time and not try to do too much and try to help the team win games.”

I mentioned that after a slow start he was just heating up with the bat when he was injured.

“There’s no doubt I was starting to swing the bat a little bit better, but I came off DL stints before where I’ve got right back in it and helped the team win games,” he said.

I asked if he’s thought of pursuing any unconventional training techniques to stay loose — yoga, for example.

Tulo is built more like a tight end than a shortstop and has had periodic issues with leg muscles. Last July, he strained a quad running to first base, missing four days. He strained a quad in May 2010 and missed three days. In 2008, he missed 46 games with a tear of the quadriceps ligament. And he missed a month in the minors with a strained quad shortly after the Rockies made him the seventh overall pick of the 2005 draft.

“No, I think if there was any magical thing out there, there would be a lot — there’s a lot of guys hurt,” Tulowitzki said. “I just try to stay up on top of things, but with how demanding the middle of the diamond is, from center field to second base, shortstop, catcher, those guys, how demanding the game is on them, it’s tough, and a lot of guys seem to get injured.”

Well, he brought it up. Do those demands in the middle of the diamond tempt him to move to a corner position, where you’ll find most cleanup hitters?

“No, not at all,” he said. “That’s come up since I went on this DL and it’s a little bit frustrating. I don’t think I’ve seen a shortstop win a gold glove and it being talked about moving to third base. I did it coming out of the box, nothing to do really with defense. I’m going to play just as hard at third as short. I understand there’s a little bit more movement, but I don’t think that’s an answer at all.”

Would more days off help?

“It’s so easy to say, and people say that in spring training, but we’re sitting here, what, 12 games out of first place?” he said. “It doesn’t really look too good if you take a day off. Now, if you’re running away with it a little bit and you’re in the lead in the division, it’s a lot easier to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to take a day here and there.’ But with the spot that we’re in, it’s going to be hard to say, ‘Oh, I’m going to take a day.’ Now, if I am hurting, I have to be honest with them, but it’s going to be tough when I do come back to get out of there.”

By my count, he’ll be eligible to come off the 15-day DL on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be ready. What does he have to be able to do?

“The hard cuts around the bases,” he said. “Out of the box, obviously, that’s how I got hurt so that’s going to be in my mind a little bit, is that first step out of the box. Once I get over some of those obstacles I think mentally I’ll be in a better spot.”

Is a rehab assignment likely before he returns to the Rocks?

“I would think so,” he said. “Two, three days maybe. I don’t know where, but I think if I pass the test the next couple of days, then we can kind of set that up.”

About Dave Krieger

Dave Krieger is a recidivist newspaperman. View all posts by Dave Krieger

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