It was a wild week for the Colorado Rockies front office, and that is putting it lightly. If the Rockies were playing fantasy baseball (and sometimes don’t we wonder if they are??) they would have to pay some hefty transaction fees this last week. All in all the Rox lit up the wires 11 times from May 12th to May 18th!
Leading off the smattering of roster moves were two DL designations made by the Rockies and two free agent signings, none of which are earth-shattering. Right-fielder Michael Cuddyer was placed on the 15-day DL with a flaring neck injury. From everything said about the injury, it sounds like Cuddy knows his body and told the club he would need some time off. The other DL move sent starting pitcher Jeff Francis out for 15 days with a groin strain. Yeah, right. He’s got a groin strain like I have a receding hair line — the possibility is there but highly unlikely. I am not accusing the Rockies of cheating, there is probably some sort of injury to Francis’ groin. However I do think the Rockies were very quick to pull the DL trigger on a struggling Francis.
The two free agent signings were both pitchers, Sean Gallagher and Cole White. White has spent all of his career as a reliever bouncing around the minors, and all of it with the Royals. He has a career ERA of 3.50, not very great for a reliever. He is currently with the AA Tulsa Drillers and has appeared in 3 games already. Mr Gallagher is a major league veteran who has spent his career as a starter for the Cubs, A’s, Padres, and Pirates. In other words, he is a journeyman. However he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2010, and his AAA ERAs of 4.92+ the last two years are not really appetizing. However, the Rockies took a gamble on the 27 year old and placed him with the AA Drillers as well. Gallagher has appeared in one game giving up only 2 hits and no runs over 7 innings. Prior to being signed by the Rockies Gallagher pitched 4 games for the Sugar Land Skeeters (yes, the same Skeeters that Roger Clemens pitched for), tossing up a 2.05 ERA in 22 IP. So there is a glimmer of hope with this signing.
The transactions that really get me are the options, and there were plenty of them this week. I always get a kick out of the quick trips up I-25 that a lot of AAA players have to make while a part of the Rockies organization, and this week was no different. Rob Scahill got the call-up when Francis hit the DL, and he appeared in 2 games, pitched 5.1 innings, gave up only 2 hits and no runs… and was promptly sent back down to the AAA Sky Sox. Thank you sir, now please go somewhere else. I understand the move made room for Tyler Chatwood to start in Francis’ rotation spot, and you’d like to maximize exposure at the big league level…but you have to feel a little bad for Scahill. Welcome to Coors Field Rob, now pack your bags. Chatwood made the most of his call-up also, throwing into the sixth inning and holding the Giants to only one run.
Other call-ups from Colorado Springs included outfielder Charlie Blackmon, who took Cuddyer’s spot in the roster, and DJ LaMahieu who was brought up after Reid Brignac was designated for assignment. There is a lot going on in that sentence isn’t there? First off, Blackmon has long deserved a spot on the big league roster (in my opinion) and has only been left out due to some lingering injuries and the fact that every time you want to send Eric Young Jr packing, he comes up with 2 doubles, a stolen base, and 3 runs scored. Blackmon has done nothing but make a case to keep him on the big league roster since coming up, batting .267 with 4 runs and a home run in only 16 plate appearances. On top of that, why wouldn’t you want someone on your roster who’s middle name is Cobb?? GIVE ME ONE REASON!
Bringing up LaMahieu was arguably long over-due. The Reid Brignac experiment was a complete failure as Brignac never found his stroke in Denver. In 53 plate appearances he hit .250 with 4 runs and 1 home run. In a word, dismal. In another word, Blackmon. What makes this whole transaction interesting is that the Rockies found a trade partner for Brignac in the New York Yankees. Yes, the same Yankees who recently took on embattled third baseman Chris Nelson after he was DfA’d by the Rox. Seriously New York, who else can we sign and then pilfer your piggy bank with? I have never, ever been a Yankees fan so sending them our wash-ups feels pretty darn good. It feels much better than sending a player to the San Francisco Giants and watching him win the NLCS MVP award and earn a World Series ring… sorry I’m still bitter.
Overall, the Rockies’ roster carousel was at full speed this last week and hopefully some of these guys will end up sticking to the 25-man roster. If not, we’ll soon have a pretty decent AAA club full of major league talent to watch in Colorado Springs!