Back this week to discuss the past two weeks in Rockies transactions:
This two week period began with Ramon Hernandez moving to the 15 day disabled list after it became clear his hand injury was hampering the ability to get him into games. The Rockies purchased the contract of Wil Nieves and recalled him to fill the backup catcher role behind Wilin Rosario. The Rockies had a full 40 Man Roster at the time, so the team moved Hector Gomez to the 60 Day DL to make room for Nieves.
A few days later, the final phase of Jorge De La Rosa's rehab assignment began, and he at last reached the AAA level after spending time with the Nuts and Drillers. Unfortunately, recurring minor injuries have prevented De La Rosa's rehab assignment from continuing, and his expected return timeline is now a question mark once again.
The scheduled double header against the Astros at the end of May began a roster move odyssey for Carlos Torres. The pitcher was recalled to be the 26th man for the double header, interrupting his optional assignment, only to be sent right back down afterward as the roster returned to 25 players. Torres was placed on the Reserve List for the Sky Sox, waiting to return back to the Sky Sox rotation, but he ended up being recalled again before that chance occurred. Torres returned to the Rockies bullpen when the Rockies designated Jamie Moyer for assignment. Torres was optioned back down again when the team decided to recall Rex Brothers back from AAA after he had impressed there. Since that final assignment, Torres' 2012 option has officially burned. It was his final regular option, and he will not qualify for a bonus option so he will be going into 2013 "out of options". Brothers was recalled from optional assignment before the option was burned, and therefore has a chance to retain all three of his options moving forward, and also to gain MLB service time at the end of the season equivalent to the time he missed on assignment.
Three days after designating Moyer for assignment, the Rockies released him as he was not a valuable trade or outright candidate. Moyer has since signed a MiLB contract with Baltimore.
The Rockies received rotten news the morning after Troy Tulowitzki suffered a groin strain. The injury was too risky to justify playing Tulowitzki on the field, leading to a DL stint. The Rockies activated Chris Nelson from the DL, wrist injury resolved and fresh off an excellent rehab assignment at AAA, to take his place on the roster. In other injured middle infielder news, Jonathan Herrera began his own rehab assignment with the Drillers.
The final move of this period at the MLB level was yet another injury. Juan Nicasio was placed on the 15 Day DL with a knee injury, making every one of Colorado's opening day rotation miss time this season. Nicasio was replaced on the roster by Guillermo Moscoso, who is working in a long relief role for the time being.
For the minors check after the jump.
When Nieves was called up to the Rockies, the Sky Sox were given yet another relief pitcher in Kennil Gomez, a pitcher released out of Texas' organization after Spring Training and signed by the Rockies a few weeks back. When Torres was first recalled, the Sky Sox activated Tyler Chatwood from the 7 Day Disabled List to return to the starting rotation. After being sent down and placed on the Reserve List, Torres would have been able to rejoin the Sky Sox roster with reliever Jared Wells hitting the disabled list for the second time this year. However, as was explained above, Torres didn't end up being activated, and the Sky Sox pitching corps lost yet another member as Edgmer Escalona hit the 7 Day Disabled List.
After recovering from hand issues, outfield prospect Tim Wheeler was activated from the DL to claim one of the two remaining AAA roster spots. When Brothers was recalled to the Rockies, the Sky Sox received reliever Tyler Johnson from the Drillers. Johnson had spent time with the Sky Sox this year, but only on their disabled list. Filling the final remaining roster spot was Joe Torres. This Torres was the one who was suspended in Spring Training for testing positive for a banned substance. Suspension served, Torres resumes pitching for the Sky Sox. Carlos Torres was finally able to be activated for the Sky Sox when the Rockies brought Moscoso up.
The final Sky Sox transactions involves Charlie Blackmon being reassigned to the Tri-City Dust Devils. This move caused some confusion on Twitter, but their intent here is actually quite clear. The organization intends to use this like a rehab assignment; let Blackmon get some time on the largely empty short season roster at the start of their season, then bring him up later when he is back in form. Blackmon remains on the 7 Day DL for the time being.
The Drillers roster remained largely stable, with only Mike Zuanich heading to the disabled list. Juan Crousset was promoted from Modesto to take his spot in the outfield. Tyler Johnson's roster spot was never filled after he moved to the Sky Sox, but the Drillers have an extra player anyway in the rehabbing Jonathan Herrera.
When last we left the Nuts, I hadn't yet learned the roster moves for the arrivals of Leuris Gomez and Michael Ramirez. Turns out we saw Bryce Massanari hit the disabled list and starter Juan Gonzalez was removed from the roster, to what I am guessing was the Reserve List. Gonzalez returned to the roster quickly, filling the spot vacated by Juan Crousset.
Since then, the Nuts roster has been extraordinarily stable. The injured Josh Hungerman was activated from the disabled list, but was assigned to Tri-City to begin the season in their bullpen. The injured Joey Wong also was assigned to Tri-City, but remains on the DL. Like Blackmon above, these players' presence on this roster is related entirely to their injuries, and is the equivalent of a minor league rehab assignment for each player.
Starter Vianney Mayo hit the disabled list and was replaced on the roster by reliever Michael Wolford, who spent brief time with Modesto earlier in the year but was in Arizona as part of Extended Spring Training through most of the season. After losing his rotation spot to Tyler Anderson in May, Alex Gillingham returned from EST to Asheville to take Mayo's spot in the rotation. Struggling reliever Taylor Reid was placed on the Temporarily Inactive List to make room for Gillingham.
The Dust Devils announced the majority of their opening day roster, specifically which of players already signed to the organization would be breaking EST with the team. The roster will still receive several incoming 2012 draft signees ultimately. The following Rockies minor leaguers will begin the season with Tri-City:
- C Anthony Aguilera (2010 amateur free agent)
- C Richard Pirkle (2011 draftee, 35th round)
- IF Matt Argyropoulos (2011 draftee, 27th round)
- IF Casey Frawley (2012 MiLB free agent)
- IF Yafistel Roja (2009 international amateur free agent)
- OF Robert De La Cruz (2007 international amateur free agent)
- OF Jaron Shepherd (2011 draftee, 33rd round)
- OF Francisco Sosa (2007 international amateur free agent)
- OF Dillon Thomas (2011 draftee, 4th round)
- SP Raul Fernandez (2007 international amateur free agent)
- SP Brook Hart (2011 draftee, 23rd round)
- SP Roberto Padilla (2011 draftee, 8th round)
- SP Josh Slaats (2010 draftee, 5th round)
- SP Peter Tago (2010 draftee, 1st round supplemental)
- RP Chris Dennis (2011 draftee, 34th round)
- RP Eric Federico (2009 draftee, 39th round)
- RP Ben Hughes (2011 draftee, 10th round)
- RP Josh Hungerman (2009 draftee, 17th round)
- RP Will Rankin (2011 draftee, 17th round)
In addition, Charlie Blackmon and Joey Wong open the season as Dust Devils on the disabled list, moved from their original teams. Starting pitcher Tyler Gagnon was already assigned to Tri-City, but placed on the 7 Day Disabled List to start the year. Pitcher Jesse Meaux and outfielder Jarod Berggren were assigned to the Dust Devils during the EST period, but have been removed from the roster. I don't yet know if the team intends to start them in Grand Junction (who haven't announced their roster yet) or if they have been released.
The Rockies released catcher Eliezer Alfonzo, who was suspended awaiting a work visa after his original suspension was overturned.