Injury-riddled '12 keeps Tulo off US roster for Classic
By Thomas Harding
DENVER -- The Team USA provisional roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic was announced Thursday, and it did not include Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki -- who was interested in playing but was not eligible because of his injury-filled 2012 season.
No Rockies were included on the U.S. squad -- the first time that has happened in the tournament, which was played in 2006 and '09. Center fielder Dexter Fowler had tweeted that he'd like to participate, but the team went with the Orioles' Adam Jones, the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton, the Red Sox's Shane Victorino and the Brewers' Ryan Braun in the outfield.
The U.S., which announced 27 players, will later announce a 28th player who will be a starting pitcher. The final roster must be submitted by Feb. 20.
Tulowitzki was limited to 47 games last season because of a left groin injury that required surgery in June and cost him the rest of the season.
Under Classic rules, Tulowitzki qualified under several criteria as a "chronic condition player." He underwent surgery, didn't play after May 30, spent more than 60 days on the disabled list and didn't finish the season on the active roster. To play, Tulowitzki would have had to have been cleared by the company that insures players' contracts in case they are injured in the tournament. After that, he would have had to have been cleared by Rockies doctors.
When healthy, Tulowitzki's name is prominent in conversations about the top shortstops in the game, although he has not had a chance to represent his country in the World Baseball Classic. He didn't play in 2009, as he had suffered groin and hand injuries in 2008 that limited him to 101 games. In '06, he hadn't yet cracked the big leagues as a full-time player.
The Rockies hope Tulowitzki will be healthy for the regular season and regain the form that earned him two All-Star Game invitations.
"We're looking forward to having Tulo back on the field and playing with the Rockies," said Bill Geivett, Rockies senior vice president of Major League operations. "No matter what he does leading up to Opening Day, what's important is to see him out there playing at Coors Field. We're pretty excited to see that."