Cheap Seats

MLB confirms Tulowitzki out for year with torn labrum

The Colorado Rockies have confirmed that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will undergo season-ending surgery on the labrum of his left hip.

That's got to put a dent in his trade market.

Tulowitzki hit .340 this season and cranked home runs at a healthy pace -- when he could manage to get on the field. He hit 21 balls over the boards in only 91 games played. But, ultimately, the story of his season is that it is yet another campaign that ends prematurely because he can't stay healthy.

In his nine-year career, Tulowitzki has only been able to play as many as 143 games three times. Not including his rookie season, when he only played 25 games, Tulowitzki has averaged only 117 games played a season. Over the past three years he's only managed to play in an average 88 games.

The Rockies have continued to deny that they'll trade their start shortstop. But it's obvious that there's a desire from Tulowitzki to move on, based on recent statements about wanting to play for a winner. That doesn't seem immediately possible for the small budget Rockies who likely would benefit from freeing up the $20 million a year Tulowitzki is set to make over the next five seasons.

But with mounting proof that Tulowitzki just can't stay healthy, the Rockies may now have a hard time finding a club willing not only to give up a significant chunk of talent to land the slugging shortstop but also to assume his hefty contract.

Hip labrum surgery is something that could take a long time overcome. It often takes more than six months to get the affected hip back in proper working order and pain free following surgery. But, if the surgery is successful, the injury and even the recovery can cause complications including muscular imbalance that will cause pain in the pelvis or back.

The St. Louis Cardinals have been rumored to be a likely trading partner with the Rockies for Tulowitzki. They need a righthanded middle of the order bat who can fit in on the infield or else in centerfield. And Tulo is one of the few players who can fill that bill. Supposedly, the Redbirds made a major trade offer for Tulowitzki last season only to be rebuffed.

If his escalating contract, his nearing of his 30th birthday and his lopsided Coors Field splits  were a concern before this latest injury emerged. This latest development could easily be the last nail in the coffin of a potential trade between the Rockies and St. Louis.