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MLB: Rockies' Tulowitzki wants to be best shortstop again

Published February 25, 2013 8:51 pm

MLB • Colorado needs him healthy to avoid repeat of 98 losses —a franchise worst.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Scottsdale, Ariz. • Troy Tulowitzki admittedly still has to get over the mental hurdle that everything will be OK after surgery on his left groin that shortened his 2012 season.

"I guess when you step out on the field and there's no thoughts about it ... right now, I'm still feeling things out, so I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent," Tulowitzki said Monday, quickly adding that his leg does feel good.

After hurting his groin in the second game last season, Tulowitzki managed to stay on the field until the end of May before going on the disabled list. He had surgery June 21 and had a brief rehabilitation assignment, but he never returned to the Rockies, who finished with a franchise-worst 98 losses.

"We need him on the field. There's no doubt he's a game-changer," Rockies first baseman Todd Helton said. "We need him healthy."

Before playing only 47 games last season, Tulowitzki was coming off a two-year stretch when he was an All-Star both seasons while also winning Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.

With each drill and game that passes during spring training, Tulowitzki gains more confidence.

"I've laid all the groundwork that I possibly can to prepare myself for the long season," Tulowitzki said. "Sometimes you can't control it, but I know I've done everything I possibly can to have a successful year."

Tulowitzki had a two-run single Monday in an exhibition game against Texas, and has three RBIs while going 2-for-4 in his two games.

He was involved in a defensive play in each of the three innings he played Monday.

Aside from staying healthy this season, Tulowitzki wants to get back to what he has already been: one of the league's best shortstops.

"I think more than anything continue to gain my dominance back kind of. If I'm out there, that's going to happen," he said. "So to re-establish myself as the best shortstop in the game and then to help the team win games, to get us back to the days where we were always in the wild-card talk, and get us back to playoff baseball."