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Troy Tulowitzki injury: Rockies place star SS on 15-day DL

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OK, it's official: 2014 has basically reached 2012 proportions.

Scott Cunningham

The Rockies on Tuesday placed star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on the 15-day disabled list with a muscle injury in his upper leg sustained on Saturday in Pittsburgh, according to Major League Baseball. The move frees up a roster spot for Yohan Flande, who was called up to start the second game of Colorado's home series against the Nationals.

Tulowitzki's DL stint is his third in as many seasons. That's a real shame because the dynamic 29-year-old All-Star is in the midst of a career season, entering Tuesday hitting .340/.432/.603 with 21 home runs in 375 plate appearances. Before missing the last two contests with the muscle issue, Tulo sat out of only six of the Rockies' previous 97 games.

We really need to sit down and have a talk with this 2014 character. Tulowitzki joins Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer, Nolan Arenado, Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Chatwood, Brett Anderson, Jordan Lyles and probably at least five other players whose names I'm forgetting as key Rockies players who have spent time on the DL this season. At this point, turning the clock back to 2012 almost sounds like a welcome scenario.

Josh Rutledge, who did a bang-up job filling in for Tulo that season, will likely get the bulk of the starts at shortstop in place of the injured superstar. Rutledge has hit well in limited action this season, posting a .293/.354./457 line. What's even more promising about that is that the 25-year-old Alabama native has done most of his damage on the road, terrorizing opposing pitchers to the tune of a .300/.344/.550 line, albeit in a small sample size.

If one event in particular could shift the Rockies' status at the deadline from "who knows" to "definite sellers," this is probably it, so the ramifications of Tulo's injury could be huge.

We'll have additional reaction to this story shortly.