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Todd Helton to undergo season-ending hip surgery, plans to play next year

Aug 6, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

Todd Helton AP AP

Todd Helton injured his hip in early June and spent two weeks on the disabled list last month before rejoining the lineup, but the Rockies announced that the 38-year-old first baseman will undergo season-ending surgery Friday to repair a torn labrum.

Helton told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that he chose to have the surgery now because the recovery timetable is typically six months and he wants to be ready for spring training and plans to play next season.

Helton had a bounceback season last year, hitting .302 with an .850 OPS, but will finish this year hitting just .238 with a .743 OPS in a career-low 69 games. He’ll be paid $5 million next season in the final year of a long-term contract, but as part of the renegotiated deal the Rockies will owe him another $13 million in deferred money to be paid out from 2014-2023.

Colorado selected Helton with the eighth overall pick in the 1995 draft and he’s played his entire 16-season career for the Rockies, hitting .320 with 354 homers in 2,123 games for a .964 OPS that ranks third among active hitters. That includes a .350 batting average and 1.060 OPS at Coors Field, compared to a .289 batting average and .864 OPS on the road.

  1. dcbear90 - Aug 6, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Pay attention Anaheim. This is you and Pujols in a few years. Except you will be paying a LOT more than the Rockies are.

  2. yahmule - Aug 6, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Yeah, come on back for another go, Todd. You’re just what a rebuilding team needs. Also, if you’re going to keep cashing those paychecks, how about legally changing your name to Jesse James?

    • Jeremiah Graves - Aug 6, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      Pretty sure the team offered him the contract and he signed it because he’s not an idiot, but given that I’m sure you’d turn down a multi-million dollar payday if you were getting a little long in the tooth, I shouldn’t judge. My apologies to you, almighty beacon of virtue.

      • yahmule - Aug 6, 2012 at 5:02 PM

        The only value Todd Helton provides to sports fans in Colorado these days is his friendship with Peyton Manning.

    • polegojim - Aug 7, 2012 at 5:29 PM

      Yah Mule… you’re being a Jackass.

  3. dcdebacle - Aug 6, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Todd Helton has been the backbone for the rockies his entire career. I’d be happy to see him play again next year. unfortunately he isn’t blocking any legit prospects, so come on back Toddfather!

    • polegojim - Aug 7, 2012 at 5:28 PM

      EXACTLY RIGHT DC….

      Todd is a good man and a very good player. He’s been loyal to the Rockies and stuck with them through their many years of ….incapacities.

      Before retirement, I’d like to see Todd get a shot to play on a true contending team.

      Get well soon Todd.

  4. micker716 - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    38 and the surgeon is cutting up your hip? Seriously, time to call it career.

  5. xjokerz - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:04 AM

    Wow. I’m not a Rockies fan but I always thought he was loved in that city … If ur going to bitch about injuries take a nice hard long look at Tulo …. Unbelievable

  6. gloccamorra - Aug 7, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    Helton can still hit, he’s an above average defender, and the kind of veteran/icon whose presence in the clubhouse and on the field can only help the kids on a rebuilding team. The bigger question is, does Rockies management/ownership even know they have to rebuild?

  7. timpaz - Aug 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Sorry to hear, Todd Helton is truly one of the gentlemen of the game, was always willing to sign autographs and was gracious to the kids when the Rockies trained in Tucson, and was one of the best first basemen for a long time, Hall of Famer for sure

  8. maximusprime107 - Aug 7, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    I, for one, am glad this is happening. It’s a win win for both sides. Helton can get healthy and he now wont be taking away playing time from guys that really deserve it, like Tyler Colvin. When Helton was in the lineup, either Colvin or Cuddyer were on the bench, which was ridiculous cause they were both outperforming Helton. I know it hurts Rockies fans cause he’s been with the team for so long, but it’s time to cut the chord. Helton hasn’t been good in a while, the organization just needs to eat the last year of his contract so he doesn’t take away playing time from others anymore

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