TORONTO — As he tried to play through a strained right quadriceps Friday night, Troy Tulowitzki knew he wasn’t himself. His first step was slow; he couldn’t get to balls he usually does; his throws to first base were inaccurate.
So, shortly after having a precautionary MRI on the tender right leg Saturday morning which confirmed the low-grade strain, Tulowitzki and the Blue Jays accepted the inevitable and placed the shortstop on the 15-day disabled list.
“It came to a time where we needed to decide whether or not to keep going after it and possibly further injure myself, or put me on the DL. And that was the choice,” Tulowitzki said. “It’s tough. You could rest it and maybe get better in a week or so. But then you’ve got to play with a man down and that’s not the right thing to do. So, that was the decision. It’s a tough one. It’s unfortunate. I’d much rather be out there.”
Tulowitzki suffered the injury stealing second base in New York on May 26. He took the bag easily at full sprint, but as he popped up from his slide he began stretching his quad and grimacing in discomfort. He came out of the game in the next inning.
He took a couple days off to try to get over it, and returned to the Blue Jays lineup Friday night, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and a hit by pitch. Tulowitzki says he didn’t further aggravate the injury playing in that game. But he’d been batting .308/.351/.577 in the 14 games leading into it. Something was clearly amiss.
“I think I needed more time to get over the hump,” Tulowitzki said. “There was a couple things that made me realize that I wasn’t myself out there. I just felt it too many times.”
No stranger to the disabled list over his career, Tulowitzki says he’s never had an issue like this in his right leg, which he described as “a good thing and a bad thing, I guess.”
The 31-year-old will spend the next few days receiving treatment on the injury before being cleared to return to baseball activities. He feels that he should be over the ailment in about a week, and he fully expects to come off the disabled list once his 15 days are up.
“Unless I have a further set back, after the 15 days I’ll definitely be back out there,” Tulowitzki said. “It was just time to get off of it, get it better, and get it ready for the rest of the season.”