SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (CBS4) – He has yet to play in a game in spring training, but shortstop Troy Tulowitzki remains the most talented and popular of the Colorado Rockies — and now he’s 30 years old.
Tulowitzki has missed a total of 22 games in the past three seasons.
“It’s (being 30) a challenge for me. I’ve had a big injury history in my 20s, so I think I’m just trying to prove some of those critics wrong and be healthy in my 30s,” Tulowitzki told CBS4’s Vic Lombardi. “At least that’s my goal and that’s what I shoot for. I think anybody who knows me knows I’m going to put in a lot of work to try to succeed.”
His teammate reliever LaTroy Hawkins concurs.
“The fans have to understand that nobody chooses to be hurt,” Hawkins said. “Nobody wants to be out there and has a desire to be out there more than Tulo. He’s a machine.”
During the offseason Tulowitzki didn’t hide the fact that he wanted to see change within the Rockies organization, and there was a lot of change — starting at the top with bringing in new general manager Jeff Bridich.
“There was a lot of change … at the end of the day I want to see wins. That’s why I play this game, and that’s always why baseball is intriguing to me; winning a World Series; and to get there my rookie year … I know what it takes to get there.
“When I try to talk to some of these guys in this locker room now there aren’t too many of them standing that got to play on that 2007 team. But that’s the goal you shoot for — to be the team on top at the end.”
In his interview with Tulowitzki, Lombardi pointed out that many of the pictures of Tulowitzki at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Arizona show him smiling.
“Why don’t you smile anymore?” Lombardi asked him. “Are you still having fun playing this game?”
“No … because we’re losing,” Tulowitzki replied. “Winning is fun to me … so if we get back to winning you’ll see a different person. You’ll someone who’s smiling a lot more often.
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“Last year I was off to the best start of my career, and it was great to play well, but at the end of the day we were losing and it wasn’t fun for me. So I know myself now … no matter how bad I’m doing, if we’re winning, that’s what I play this game for.”
Tulowitzki said he can see himself in a Rockies uniform for many more years. He heard the trade rumors in the offseason, but he wasn’t bothered by it.
“There was a lot of speculation,” he said. “I think our ownership came out and said ‘Hey, we are keeping Tulo involved in these talks and if something were to be close to be happening we would give him a call and talk to him about it.’ And that never happened.”
According to MLB.com, both Tulowitzki and star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who also had season-ending surgery last August, could play Monday against the Reds at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.