Michael Cuddyer is on the disabled list for the third time in 2014. For the second time it is a bum hamstring that has forced him to the shelf, with a busted shoulder sandwiched in between.
It is at this point that I have a simple, snarky question for you: are you mad at Michael Cuddyer?
Cuddy has been a member of the Rockies for three seasons. He has missed significant time with injuries in two of them, with dings and dents that have ranged from his oblique to his shoulder to his hamstring. I dare say that he has been injury prone, with these stints on the DL lampooning the value of one of the biggest free agency contracts the Rockies have given out in recent memory.
People call Tulo overrated, say he’s not a franchise player, and point to him as the reason that the Rockies are a disaster because he always gets hurt.
If you fear that I am constructing a straw man to defeat in this article, I assure you I am not. Scroll down to the comments section of any Denver Post Rockies article or any of the fine content from our colleagues over at Purple Row. You are guaranteed to find Tulo venom, mostly because of the fact that he is injury prone. I would cite some of it here, but it is late at night and comments sections give me bad dreams.
People get mad at Tulo for getting hurt, but not at Cuddyer. Why?
By the way, if there is Cuddyer backlash and I have missed it, I encourage you to point me that direction…even if it means venturing into a deep, dark corner of the interwebs.
Is it the money? That would be the easy answer, right? Tulo makes too much money to always be hurt, or so the thinking goes. Fair enough, but there’s just one problem with that justification for anger: Cuddyer makes a lot of money too.
Per Spotrac, Tulowitzki makes $16 million this season. Cuddyer makes $10.5 million.
If one win above replacement (WAR) costs $7 million, as has been suggested, then the Rockies have more than gotten their money’s worth with Tulowitzki in 2014: even with his season over, Tulo produced 5.1 fWAR at that $16 million hit.
Cuddyer, on the other hand, is only a 1.1 fWAR player this year while making $10.5 million. Both players have missed huge chunks of 2014 because of injuries, but only in Cuddyer’s case did that truly hurt the Rockies in terms of bang for their bucks on the payroll side of things.
If the money argument doesn’t hold up, is it their personalities? It could be. Cuddyer is lovable, downright cuddly at times, while Tulowitzki is blunt and intense. To think, however, that a man’s disposition would be reason enough to get mad at him for getting injured is still beyond my comprehension.
Here is what I do know, even from afar: neither of these guys wants to get hurt. They hate it more than any of us do.
As a Rockies fan, I am frustrated as hell that this has happened again, that another season has been undone by injuries to injury-prone players. I also believe that the Rockies need to change course this off-season.
What I don’t see, however, is a reason to get mad at the players themselves. Furthermore, I will never buy any justification for getting mad at one guy but not the other when both have been injury-prone to the detriment of the franchise the last few seasons.
When I ask if you are mad at Michael Cuddyer for being hurt again, it is not to suggest that you should be. Rather, it is a way of pointing out how absurd it is to get mad at Troy Tulowitzki for the same.