The Colorado Rockies have a lot of talent in the outfield that is causing a logjam for playing time and opportunities. On Saturday afternoon, the Rockies made a move to help open up some room in a very crowded space.
Mike Tauchman was traded by the Colorado Rockies to the New York Yankees on Saturday, joining a list of players with Rockies ties making their way to the Bronx (along with DJ LeMahieu, Adam Ottavino and Troy Tulowitzki). In exchange, Colorado received left-hander Phillip Diehl.
The move not only frees up some room in the Rockies outfield but also on the 40-man roster. Tauchman’s departure likely makes space for first baseman Mark Reynolds, who was invited to spring training as a non-roster player but will likely be on the Opening Day roster.
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Always considered a player with potential, the 28-year-old Tauchman rarely got Major League opportunities and couldn’t take advantage of them when he did. In two seasons, Tauchman, a former 10th-round draft pick, had just 59 at-bats (69 plate appearances) with a career batting average of .153. Last season, with 37 plate appearances, posted an .094/.194/.125 slash line.
With Garrett Hampson and Ian Desmond likely getting more playing time in the outfield in 2019 than the duo registered in 2018, at-bats and time on the grass is going to be a competition for players like Raimel Tapia and Noel Cuevas alongside the expected starting outfield of David Dahl, Charlie Blackmon and Desmond.
Diehl, meanwhile, is a 24-year-old southpaw who advanced as high as Double-A last season. In 14 games at the Double-A level last season, Diehl was 0-1 with a 1.35 ERA with one save. He allowed 18 hits in 26.2 innings and struck out 29 while walking 11.
Since being drafted in the 27th round in 2016, Diehl has a career 2.78 ERA in the minors. He has already been assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque.
He will provide pitching depth for the Rockies in the minor leagues. He also thought, at first, that the trade was a prank.