Blue Jays not expecting Troy Tulowitzki to play this season

Toronto-Blue-Jays-Troy-Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki was released by the Blue Jays in the off-season. (Frank Gunn/CP)

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays aren’t expecting Troy Tulowitzki to play for them this season, manager John Gibbons said Saturday.

Tulowitzki, who last played July 28, 2017, had bone spurs removed from both heels earlier this season.

“I miss having him around,” Gibbons said. “He really shored us up in ’15 with his defence alone. I’ve got nothing but good things (to say about) him.”

Tulowitzki’s last full season came in 2016, when he hit 24 home runs with a .761 OPS and 3.4 wins above replacement. He missed the final two months of the 2017 season after sustaining a ligament tear and compression fracture in his right ankle in a collision with C.J. Cron at first base. He hasn’t played since, either at the MLB level or in rehab games.

With Tulowitzki sidelined, the Blue Jays have Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Aledmys Diaz available at shortstop. Meanwhile, top prospect Bo Bichette continues progressing through the minor leagues. As for where Tulowitzki fits in that mix going forward, Gibbons didn’t offer specifics.

“That’s not my decision to be honest,” Gibbons said. “I’m worried about this year, really.”

The 33-year-old’s contract will pay him $20 million in 2019 and $14 million in 2020. The deal includes a $15 million club option for 2021 with a $4 million buyout.

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