Here’s a question: what if it was Chris Nelson or Josh Rutledge who was dealing with a strained forearm? What if they stalled a decision by trying to talk their way into the lineup each day because they wanted to avoid the DL? Would the Rockies have indulged either of them? Would the Rockies have placed themselves in the precarious position of having to play Yorvit Torrealba at first base in an actual, competitive, regular season baseball game?
I don’t know the answer, and obviously I am writing from an outsider’s perspective. I am also beyond weary to ever suggest that Todd Helton would ever intentionally do anything to negatively affect this franchise (note the adverb, please). Still, the Rockies just went through 5 games with a shallow bench because Helton was not available. If it matters, those games were against stiff competition in the forms of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves. If stalling did not result in Helton’s successful return to the lineup, it was all going to look a little bit nonsensical. And that was before Torrealba played first base in the same infield with Eric Young Jr.
Note: if you think I am dwelling too much on what happened in extra innings yesterday, just do me one favor. Read this sentence again: Yorvit Torrealba played first base while Eric Young Jr. played second base.
So here we are, and Todd Helton heads to the disabled list. Per Troy Renck:
As reported earlier Helton to DL retroactive to April 30. Ryan Wheeler promoted. He will wear #12
— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) April 25, 2013
If somebody were in the business of taking bets on Rockies’ roster moves, Wheeler had to be considered the long-shot to get called up. And yet here he is, ahead of teammates Tyler Colvin and Charlie Blackmon.
Helton seemed to have found his stroke before this injury hit, working his way up to a .268/.333/.415. Here’s hoping that it is a minor issue that will not become a lingering problem for the veteran.