The Colorado Rockies roster boasts of not one, but two of the elite players in the National League. 2012, however, saw one of them, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki sidelined for two-thirds of the season. The team finished 34 games under .500 and in fifth (last) place in the NL West. New manager Walt Weiss, a former shortstop himself (though unlike Tulo, Weiss played on three consecutive Oakland A's AL Championship squads despite being a good field, light hitting type), got the best news possible this month when Troy told
Denver Post reporter Troy E. Renck that he has made significant progress in his recovery.
"I am feeling a lot better," Tulowitzki said. Rather than say he was 100% healthy, the two-time All-star joked he was at 98%.
Tulowitzki was forced to end his season in late May, in the midst of a nine-game hitting streak. His groin, which in fact had bothered him from the first series of the season, was strained severely enough in a game versus the Houston Astros to leave him no choice but to go on the DL. His injury later required surgery to remove scar tissue. He had hoped to return to the Rockies in September, but the leg strength had not returned. As he started his off-season program with a Las Vegas based physical therapist, it was estimated the leg was at 60%. Now he expects to be fully cleared this month, thanks to a new regimen that includes more flexibility exercises and even yoga.
Troy is also a two-time gold glove winner with one of the most powerful arms at shortstop in recent memory. Twice he has finished in the top five in MVP voting.
His return can only take some of the pressure off the Rockies other big man in the lineup, CarGo, Carlos Gonzalez. Ex-Rockie fan favorite and now their new batting coach, Dante Bichette has to feel good about a lineup with those two together and healthy.