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The season that was: Troy Tulowitzki

A look at Troy’s 2017 season

Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays
I do enjoy watching him make these jump throws.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Yeah, I could almost call it “Troy Tulowitzki: The season that wasn’t”.

Coming into the season, we were cautiously optimistic Troy would have a pretty good season. He had finished the 2016 season pretty well. He seemed to become comfortable as a Blue Jay, and he was taking a larger leadership role. And he was going into the season healthy.

Matt Gross ran a poll.

We were wrong:

Year   Age  G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
2017    32 66 241 16 60 10  0  7  26  0  1 17 40 .249 .300 .378 .678   77

That was good for a 0.1 bWAR and a 0.0 fWAR. FanGraphs has him at a value of $200,000.

Troy had a .292 wOBA and a 78 wRC+.

Compared to last year, his walk (6.5%, from 7.9) and strikeout rates (15.4%, from 18.6) were down.

His line drive rate was down (14.4%, from 19.2). Ground balls up (52.5%, from 40.5). Fly balls down (32.2%, from 40.3). Fewer of his fly balls left the park (10.4%, from 15.1).

Not a surprise, from those numbers, but his ‘hard contact’ rate was down (30.2%, from 34.2) and his soft contact rate was up (24.8, from 15.4).

His BABIP was exactly the same as last year, .272. What are the odds?

He hit right-handers (.278/.330/.420) far far better than left-handers (.169/.217/.262). I don’t understand such a huge reverse split. Career he has a far a far more normal split.

Troy hit much better at home (.268/.336/.431) than on the road (.229/.260/.322).

He wasn’t much good with RISP (.190/.250/.328).

And his first half (.250/.302/.398) was much better than his second half (.244/.292/.289), but then he only played 12 games in the second half.

Troy by month:

April: .263/.295/.386, 1 home run in 16 games.

May: .214/.353/.429, 1 home run in 4 games.

June: .215/.277/.355, with 3 home runs in 25 games.

July: .286/.321/.390, with 2 home runs in 21 games.

Defensively? He had a -2.4 UZR/150. That’s just the season itme in his career he’s had a negitive UZR. His last 5 seasons he’s had numbers ranging from 6.6 to 3.0.

He was slow, FanGraphs has him at 3.5 runs worst than the average baserunner.

Troy’s longest hitting streak was 6 games, longest on base, 8 games.

And, of course, he had 2 injuries: Hamstring troubles early in the season and then the play that wrecked his ankle in July. That one cost him the second season. I’m curious to see how his ankle is in spring. He really can’t afford to lose much more speed.

Ankle injuries are tough to watch.

There are stories that Troy is using the criticism he’s been getting as motivation to work hard this winter to get into the best shape possible. That’s not a bad thing. But then, he seems to be the type that works hard every off-season.

He isn’t that old yet, just turned 33 last month. But, his rather extensive injury history has, likely, aged him quicker than a normal player. He seems older than he is.

We owe him $20 a year, for the next 2 seasons and then $14 million for the season after that. Then there is a $15 million or $4 million buy out for 2021. I have a hard time imagining that he could stay at short for the next three seasons. I also have a hard time imagining that his bat can play at any corner spot. I don’t know how it will all shake out.

It’s going to be interesting. I’m hoping that 2018 is a good season, that he works hard this winter, he stays healthy, and everything works out for him. But, hoping isn’t expecting. I’d like him to get through the season relatively healthy and do a reasonable job offensively and defensively. Would a 3 WAR season be out of the question?

We do need to find a good utility player. We can’t be giving Goins and Barney 700 plate appearances. I’m hoping Lourdes Gurriel can be that type of player, in the future, but it might be expecting too much for him to become what we need this year.