07 August 2012
One of my favorite Rockies players and favorite all time baseball players, Todd Helton, has just announced the end to his season with a torn labrum and other hip damage. Helton is one of those players like Chipper Jones that I have watched for a good portion of my life play baseball. He is one of those rare players like Jones who has been with one team, who is the face of the team and the heart of the organization. Helton IS the Rockies. He plays with all of his heart and he is a real leader both on and off the field. To see him out of the game is just another blow to the Rockies lost season.
The Rockies have had one of those all time bad seasons. They are 36-68 on the year so far. This is shaping up to be one of the all time worst seasons in the 20 year history of the team. And it's not only the wins and losses on the field. It's the injuries that have plagued the team throughout the season. Not just short term injuries but players out of 50 or more games.
The Rockies star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has missed 58 games with a left groin injury and surgery to remove damaged tissue. Catcher Ramon Hernandez out for 42 games with a left hand strain. Michael Cuddyer who had filled in for Helton during the season went on the DL on Sunday with an oblique strain. Jason Giambi on the DL for the last 11 games with a viral syndrome. Chris Nelson who was called in to fill Helton's spot missed 17 games of the season with an irregular heartbeat. And that's not even counting the pitchers Juan Nicasio, Christian Friedrich, Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin all of which are in some stage of injury or rehab.
Helton is just the latest blow in this lost season. He had tried to play even after experiencing problems with his hip. He was on the DL for 15 days coming off the All-Star break but played just six games before deciding on the season-ending surgery. He was also experiencing a lot of back issues and was having career-worst .238 batting average on the season.
Helton will have his surgery on Friday just 10 days ahead of his 39th birthday. He has one more year remaining on his contract at a rate of 5 million dollars. He and the team have said he has every intention of coming back next year. As a long time fan, I certainly hope that he does and I also hope that the Rockies can come back with him. For now though this season is lost.