ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – When the 2023 season began, Cole Tucker was supposed to be one of the key players on the Isotopes and Rockies rosters. Then, during batting practice prior to the ‘Topes 4th game of the season, Tucker suffered an oblique injury that would sideline him for 43 games and nearly two months.

As a 2014 first-round draft pick by the Pirates, Tucker already has plenty of both minor and big league experience. However, the oblique injury presented a new challenge for the ten-year veteran. While rehabbing in Arizona, keeping things in perspective and living life as a civilian helped get him back on the field.

“When you’re rehabbing and you’re living that life, you got to look at yourself in the mirror every day and just know that you can, and you will, get through it,” said Tucker. “Everyone has mental struggles, and I am definitely not above that. Being a good person, being a good brother, being a good fiancé, being a good son, it all goes into it. Then we get three hours a night where we get to come out here, and all that matters is we get to be baseball players, so you got to compartmentalize for sure.”

Tucker has only been back in the ‘Topes lineup for eight games, but his presence is already being felt. He is seeing the field as both a middle infielder and outfielder and has hit .357 during that span. His position flexibility and switch-hitting bat present opportunities for him to contribute even more moving forward.

“I feel like my biggest tool is versatility and being able to do anything,” he said. “Just trying to get anywhere I can, any way I can to help the team win.”