Rockies infielder Josh Rutledge has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a viral infection, the team announced on Friday. Infielder Ryan Wheeler has been recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs to replace Rutledge on the Rockies' 25-man roster.
Rutledge has missed Colorado's last four games with an illness after hitting .318/.375/.500 in 25 plate appearances spanning 11 games. Rutledge started the season in Triple-A before making his way to Denver on April 9 after Wilton Lopez was optioned to the minors.
The Rockies will be able to activate Rutledge on May 13 if he's deemed ready at that point.
Wheeler will be making his fourth tour of duty with the Rockies. The 25-year-old lefty hit .220/.238/.268 in 42 big league plate appearances in 2013 after being acquired from the Diamondbacks prior to that season in a deal that sent reliever Matt Reynolds to the desert. Wheeler was a Triple-A All-Star a year ago, hitting .306/.351/.463 with 12 homers and 89 RBI for the Sky Sox. He's off to a much slower start this year, posting a .247/.286/.402 line through 105 plate appearances.
Rutledge has essentially served as the last man off the bench, and Wheeler will likely see even less of a role, particularly with the Rockies' collection of left-handed bats on the major league roster. Still, he relishes the opportunity, as he told Nick Groke of the Denver Post earlier today:
Ryan Wheeler, on his call-up to the #Rockies today, said: "There are 40 guys who can play on this team. You better be ready to go."— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) May 2, 2014
Nothing against Wheeler, but hopefully he's not going to play too much on this team, either. Otherwise, it would mean the Rockies have been dealt a crushing blow and we just don't need any of that right now.