The Colorado Rockies were busy on Tuesday prior to starting their two-game series at Chavez Ravine against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As we reported in a separate article you can see by clicking here, the Rockies activated Gerardo Parra from the paternity list. Colorado made room for him on the roster by optioning reliever Shane Carle to Triple-A Albuquerque.
At the end of that article, we had mentioned our surprise that Carle had been sent down rather than outfielder Raimel Tapia. On Tuesday in a related move, Tapia was sent back to Triple-A while the Rockies called up utility man Pat Valaika.
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The 24-year-old Valaika will be making his first appearance for the Rockies this season. He was part of the squad last season after a September call-up. He made his Major League debut on September 6 and was productive in his time with the Rockies. He logged a .263 average with three runs scored, one double, one home run and two RBI in 13 games played.
So far this season in Albuquerque, Valaika has recorded a .267 average with six runs scored, two doubles, one triple, one home run, 11 RBI and four walks over 11 games.
We talked about and to Valaika during spring training after he jumped out to a hot start at the plate in Arizona. You can read our exclusive interview with him here.
For Tapia, the return to Albuquerque marks a disappointing stretch in his second career call-up. Like Valaika, he appeared with the Rockies last season as a September call-up. However, he was unable to replicate the success he flashed last season, going 0-for-7 at the plate which included action where he made the starting lineup twice.
Our take: Right now, having Valaika on the bench makes the Rockies stronger than having Tapia as an offensive possibility. That’s not a knock on Tapia’s skills. However, Valaika has shown more promise at the plate since the calendar turned to 2017.