NEW YORK — Troy Tulowitzki doesn’t think his potentially lengthy absence will effect the Blue Jays’ remarkable season.
The all-star shortstop, who was diagnosed with a small crack on his left shoulder blade after colliding with Kevin Pillar on a catch during Saturday’s first game of a doubleheader in New York, will be off the field for at least a couple of weeks.
“If you look back in history, all teams that won a World Series or made it deep in the playoffs, they all faced adversity,” Tulowitzki said Sunday at Yankee stadium before the Blue Jays closed out a four-game series with New York. “Whether guys are missing time or it didn’t quite play out the way they thought it would and that’s part of the game.
“So hopefully this is something that makes our story that much more special.”
The Blue Jays are 30-8 when Tulowitzki has been in the starting lineup, and 32-10 since the team traded Jose Reyes and prospects to Colorado for the all-star shortstop on July 28.
Tulowitzki will remain with the Jays as his shoulder heals.
“I definitely wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” he said. “In that clubhouse, it’s special — it’s a close group. Being around them everyday, when you lose one person it can affect the team. So as good as we’re going, you don’t want to switch anything up.”
Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Sunday he was cautiously optimistic that Tulowitzki could return to action in two to three weeks, but added that that estimation was “only a guess at this point.”
While Anthopoulos said the team would know more “in the next few days,” Tulowitzki preferred not to but a timeline on his own recovery.
“I know that if I do that I’m going to be itching at the bit and if I do need that extra time and we’re in a good spot I think it would be wise for me to take it and wait until I’m 100 per cent healthy,” Tulowitzki said. “But time will tell everything — we’ll know where we’re at in the standings, we’ll know how my body’s feeling and we’ll make a decision based on both those things.”
The injury happened during the second inning of Saturday’s early game. Tulowitzki, who said there were no “tough feelings” between him and Pillar, felt he was camped under the fly ball in shallow centre field when Pillar charged into him from behind, his chin squaring up with Tulowitzki’s shoulder blade.
“I originally thought it was an elbow because it dug down deep in there,” Tulowitzki said. “It definitely got me good.”
Cliff Pennington, who was traded to the Blue Jays from the Diamondbacks on Aug. 8, came into the game at second base with Ryan Goins moving to shortstop. Pennington was 1 for 3 in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, and 1 for 4 with a two-run home run in the second game. He also made a nice defensive play with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of the first game to save a run in a tie game, which Toronto eventually won 9-5 in 11 innings.
Toronto added some infield insurance on Sunday morning, acquiring 2012 National League Gold Glove winner Darwin Barney from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Barney, 29, appeared in two games for the Dodgers this season and spent the rest of the year with triple-A Oklahoma City, where he hit .277 with 15 doubles, four home runs and 31 runs batted in. The right-handed batter is a career .245 hitter in 566 games.
The Canadian Press