The news is a big blow for a Rockies team that is, at this point, trying to end 2014 on a respectable note. Colorado fell to 28 games under .500 with its loss to the Padres on Wednesday and is in serious danger of reaching 100 losses for the first time in franchise history. A return of Tulowitzki might not have done a whole lot to change that considering the Rockies' pitching staff, but it certainly would have helped.
Tulowitzki seemed primed for a fairly quick return after performing baseball-related activities, including taking some swings, at Coors Field last week. However, his condition apparently worsened after that, forcing a labral repair operation. The procedure will keep Tulowitzki on crutches for a month or two and it will likely take the four-time All-Star five months to recover, Rockies trainer Keith Dugger told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. That kind of uncertainty will make it difficult for Colorado to receive any valuable offers in trade talks surrounding Tulowitzki this offseason, perhaps increasing his odds of remaining in Denver for 2015.
What began as an otherworldly campaign for Tulo will end as merely a good one. The 29-year-old star still leads the league with a .340/.432/.603 line but will finish with fewer than 100 games played for the second time in three years. Tulowitzki leads the Rockies, for now, with 21 home runs and will finish the season with 50 walks and 57 strikeouts in 375 plate appearances.
The one real silver lining is that the Rockies will have a pretty good idea what they have in Josh Rutledge after the season ends. Rutledge's numbers have dipped since he began playing on a full-time basis. His OPS+ entering Wednesday sat at just 93 and the 25-year-old Alabama alum is in the midst of a 5-for-47 slump with 15 strikeouts and only three walks in his last 13 games.
We'll have more on this story in the coming days.