Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) grimaces as he walks back to the dugout after grounding out to end the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh Saturday, July 19, 2014. Tulowitzki left the game.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki reacts to Pittsburgh Pirates' Starling Marte being hit in the head by a pitch from Rockies relief pitcher Adam Ottavino during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh on Friday, July 18, 2014. The Pirates won 4-2. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
DENVER — Major league batting leader Troy Tulowitzki has been placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Colorado Rockies because of a left hip flexor strain.
The 29-year-old All-Star shortstop was hurt while running out a grounder at Pittsburgh on Saturday night. He was held out of the next two games before being placed on the disabled list, retroactive to Sunday.
This is Tulowitzki's first trip to the disabled list this season but he has taken days off to rest his chronically tight legs. The leg issues date to 2008 when he tore the left quadriceps tendon.
"That '08 injury really put me behind the eight-ball because when you completely tear a muscle, it never gets the same again," he said. "All the other muscles have to help support. I knew it was going to be a long road back from that injury.
"I didn't know to the extent, but here we are six years later and it's still giving me issues."
Head trainer Keith Dugger said this latest injury is directly related to that tear.
"He kind of tweaked the scar tissue around there and that little muscle on the side," Dugger said. "When you tear old scar (tissue) it's never as bad as tearing a new muscle. It's a small strain. It's not healthy tissue that he tweaked."
During the last offseason, Tulowitzki incorporated an extensive stretching regimen to help keep him on the field. He has continued the routine during the season, and he and manager Walt Weiss credit it as a reason he missed just six games before being injured again on Saturday.
"He's been able to stay healthy, and a big reason being the work he puts in every day," Weiss said. "He goes through a very tedious routine every day to warm up his legs and get ready to compete every night. The fact that he is so disciplined and never wavers from his pregame routine is one of the reasons why he has been able to stay relatively healthy."
Tulowitzki is hitting .340 and is third in the NL with 21 home runs. He said he can continue to play at that high level when he returns to the lineup.
"One thing I don't lack is confidence," he said. "When I'm back I'll be a confident player out there, but to be a confident player you need to be confident in your body, so I have to be healthy before I come back.
"I'm not going to rush this thing, especially with where we're at, there's no need to rush. I need to be 100 percent."
Left-hander Yohan Flande was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs and was to start Tuesday night's game against Washington. Flande was 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA in three starts before being optioned to Colorado Springs on July 7.