The Yankees announced that veteran infielder Troy Tulowitzki has left the team’s spring facility, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports (Twitter link). He’ll take some time at home to “get over that (injury) hump and kind of push through the finish line of getting exactly right,” manager Aaron Boone explains.
It’s frankly hard to interpret this development. Boone had declared just days ago that Tulowitzki was “pretty much over” the lingering calf injury that originally sent him to the injured list. (Also via Hoch, on Twitter.) It’s unclear when the 34-year-old will be deemed ready for a rehab assignment.
Slated to fill in for a rehabbing Didi Gregorius, Tulowitzki made it through only five games to open the season before his latest health issue arose. He missed all of 2018 after heel surgery and only made it into 66 contests in the prior campaign.
What is clear is that Tulo will not make it back to the MLB roster before Gregorius, whose return to action appears to be imminent. Barring any intervening developments on the injury front, the return of Gregorius will put the shortstop position off limits except for fill-in opportunities.
Tulowitzki has been seeing time at third base in anticipation of just that scenario. There could still be a fit there, but there still isn’t much of an opening even in the absence of Miguel Andujar. The surprising Gio Urshela continues to turn in impressive results at the hot corner and the club will want to keep finding regular action for Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu. Even rookie fill-in Thairo Estrada has hit like a mid-prime Tulo to this point.
Under the circumstances, there’s no real rush from the Yankees’ perspective. It’s not clear at all that the organization has a use for Tulowitzki in the majors. But the Yanks certainly appreciate the value of depth, having both compiled and deployed it quite often this season. Tulowitzki is presently occupying a 40-man spot. While he could be shifted onto the 60-day IL, roster pressures will ultimately force a final determination on his status once he is back to health.