Tulowitzki out all weekend with strained groin

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tulowitzki warming up.jpgRockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was lifted from Friday’s rain-shortened game against the Blue Jays with a groin strain and is not in the starting lineup Saturday.  According to Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post, he could be out all weekend.

Tulo’s groin injury is not thought to be overly serious, but the Rox are taking every precaution to ensure that it doesn’t turn into a long-lasting issue.

“It’s a wait-and-see-type thing, just due to the conditions we’re
dealing with right now and the potential softness of the field,” Colorado manager Jim Tracy said Saturday. “It’s the wisest thing to do. You ask yourself the question: One
day or two vs. a 15-day disabled-list situation? Without Troy
Tulowitzki in our lineup, I don’t like the prospects.”

Clint Barmes started at shortstop Saturday and is likely to do the same on Sunday.  He’s batting .216 with a .272 on-base percentage and a .352 slugging percentage this season in 176 at-bats.  Tulowitzki is hitting .307/.373/.489 with eight home runs and 32 RBI in 225 at-bats.

MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals too

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There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using MLB balls. The reason: uniformity and, one presumes, more accurate analysis of performance at the top level of the minor leagues.

The result, as Baseball America reports today, is a massive uptick in homers in the early going to the Triple-A season:

Last April, Triple-A hitters homered once every 47 plate appearances. As the weather warmed up, so did the home run rate. Over the course of the entire 2018 season, Triple-A hitters homered every 43 plate appearances. So far this year, they are homering every 32 plate appearances. Triple-A hitters are hitting home runs at a rate of 135 percent of last year’s rate.

Again, that’s in the coldest, least-homer friendly month of the season. It’s gonna just get worse. Or better, I guess, if you’re all about the long ball.

Which you had better be, because if they did something to deaden the balls and reduce homers, we’d have the same historically-high strikeout and walk rates but with no homers to provide offense to compensate. At least unless or until hitters changed their approach to become slap hitters or something, but that could take a good while. And may still not be effective given the advances in defense since the last time slap hitting was an important part of the game.

In the meantime, enjoy the dingers, Triple-A fans.