First post-draft notes. We saw 13 draftees sign this week, as well as several releases as the organization prepares to redesign itself once again as we move into the A- and Rookie seasons. This week saw the Tri-Coity Dust Devils announce their initial roster. Tri-City and Casper have max roster counts at 35 and 40 respectively, meaning they can add players much easier than the other teams as the season goes on. Let's get down to business.
- Esmil Rogers assigned to Colorado Springs Sky Sox on a rehab assignment.
Usual rules here: no corresponding move, as MLB rehabbers don't count towards the active roster.
- Jeff Salazar released.
Salazar had spent the past week on the disabled list with a sprained ankle. Presumably healthy, the Rockies finally came to the conclusion that there was no room for Salazar on the AAA roster, and decided to release him as opposed to demote him or someone else. Salazar was originally a 2002 Rockies draft pick, but the left the organization as a waiver claim after the 2006 season. 2011 saw him return to the organization as AAA outfield filler, but he was unable to stick more than these past two months of play.
- David Christensen assigned to Modesto Nuts and placed on the Reserve List.
- Jared Clark assigned to Modesto Nuts and placed on the Reserve List.
- Chad Rose activated from 7 Day Disabled List.
- Nick Schnaitmann placed on Temporarily Inactive List.
Christensen and Clark spent the season in Extended Spring Training rehabbing from injury. As the program closed down, they were both assigned to the Nuts, but were not activated right away (Clark still hasn't been activated at the time of writing this article). Rose spent over a month on Modesto's disabled list. Schnaitmann, whose future with the team always seems to be in question, was the easiest player to send to the inactive list, but he would return once again later in the week.
The Tri-City roster breakdown and the rest of the week after the jump.
The following players have been assigned to the team to begin the 2011 season this upcoming week. I have included their position and where they last played on a pro team (most have spent the season so far in Extended Spring Training, but some have been reassigned from other teams that have played this season).
- Anthony Aguilera (C, 2010 Casper/Asheville)
- Ben Alsup (RHP, First 2011 Draft Signing)
- Jordan Ballard (3B/1B, 2010 Casper)
- Craig Bennigson (LHP, 2011 Asheville)
- Christian Bergman (RHP, 2010 Casper)
- Ryan Casteel (C, 2010 Casper)
- Juan Crousset (OF/1B, 2010 Casper)
- Isaiah Froneberger (LHP, 2011 Tulsa)
- Tyler Gagnon (RHP, 2010 Casper)
- Nelson Gonzalez (RHP, 2010 Casper)
- Kyle Hancock (RHP, 2010 Casper)
- Ching Lung Lo (RHP, 2010 Tulsa/Colorado Springs)
- Vianney Mayo (RHP, 2010 Dominican/Casper)
- Blake McDade (1B, 2010 Casper)
- Kenneth Roberts (LHP, 2010 Casper)
- Jeffrey Squier (IF/OF, 2010 Casper)
- Rafael Suarez (RHP, 2011 Asheville)
Bennigson, Froneberger and Suarez each played baseball earlier in the year at a higher level. Bennigson dealt with injury and ineffectiveness at Asheville and was reassigned to Extended Spring Training in mid-May. Suarez also struggled with the Tourists, and found himself on the disabled list last week.
Froneberger has been on the disabled list at Tulsa since the second week of the minor league season. The assignment to Tri-City will likely serve as the equivalent of a rehab assignment. Ching Lung Lo left the organization as a minor league free agent last season, but returned to the team on a one year deal. He has spent the year thus far in Extended Spring Training dealing with injury, and like Froneberger, will be serving a rehab-style assignment here, far below where his level would be when healthy.
Of the above players, Froneberger, Hancock, Lo and Suarez are currently on the MiLB disabled list. They may be activated when the season begins, or later.
Also of note is pitcher Ben Alsup; he was the first player to sign with the Rockies out of the 2011 draft, and thus far, is the only one assigned to a team. That will change very soon.
Also on the Tri-City roster are the following players who were on the team's roster from earlier in the season and/or last season:
- Dominic Altobelli (3B, Remains from 2010 season)
- Eric Federico (RHP, Remains from 2010 season, currently on MiLB Disabled List to start this season)
- Ricardo Ferrer (Played with Asheville this year, placed on Tri-City roster at the beginning of June after demotion.)
- Stephen Head (MiLB free agent, placed on Tri-City roster to begin the season, making a transition from 1B/OF to pitcher)
- David Hernandez (SS, Remains from 2010 season)
- Jayson Langfels (3B, Remains from 2010 season)
- Leonardo Reyes (OF, Remains from 2010 season)
- Jared Simon (OF, Remains from 2010 season)
- Clint Tilford (RHP, Remains from 2010 season)
- Aaron Weatherford (RHP, Remains from 2010 season where he spent the entire season on the DL, currently on MiLB Disabled List to start this season)
The following players who were on the Tri-City roster before the official announcement have been unassigned. I do not know some of their destinations for certain, though pitcher Kyle Hancock tweeted RockiesRoster with a couple tidbits of information.
- Brad Corley (Hancock claims he has retired, but I have been unable to confirm that officially).
- Maikol Gonzalez (Played 9 games with Modesto this season before reassignment to Tri-City, it appears wherever he is he will not be beginning the season with them.)
- Charles Ruiz (Hancock first tweeted that Ruiz was released, Matt Eddy of Baseball America later confirmed.)
- Jeremiah Sammy (Hancock suggests that Sammy was demoted to Casper; we'll find out for sure when Casper announces their roster this upcoming week.)
- Matthew Sanders (Haven't heard any rigid info, could be another Casper bound player.)
- Billy Vopinek (Eddy has confirmed the release of Vopinek from the organization.)
Phew! That about covers the Dust Devils. Moving on...
- Darin Holcomb placed on the 7 Day Disabled List.
- Brian Rike activated from the 7 Day Disabled List.
Very disappointing news for Holcomb; after missing last season with serious chronic back problems that no one was certain he would recover from, the pain seems to have returned, putting his career's future in jeopardy once again. Rike spent just over a week on the DL with a bruised knee before this reactivation.
- Greg Reynolds activated from the Reserve List.
- Andrew Johnston placed on the Reserve List.
Reynolds, who had been optioned back to AAA from the Rockies the previous week, is activated from the Reserve List to rejoin the Sky Sox rotation. Former AAA closer Johnston made the opposite switch and headed onto the reserve list. This means that Johnston will be traveling with the team and ready to be activated at a moment's notice if another player goes down.
- David Christensen activated from the Reserve List.
- Orlando Sandoval placed on the 7 Day Disabled List.
With a contusion on his foot putting outfielder Sandoval on the DL, the time was perfect to activate Christensen, also an outfielder, who had joined the team out of Extended Spring Training a couple of days earlier, but had not yet been previously activated.
- Juan Gonzalez assigned to A Asheville Tourists.
- Corresponding move, most likely involving Albert Campos, Josh Slaats or Juan Perez.
As always, I am putting together the Tourists roster moves about one week behind when they actually occur. Last week the Tourists released Brad McAtee to make room for Erik Stavert returning to active duty. Ironically, it was McAtee himself who had informed us at RockiesRoster that the Tourists were carrying extra pitchers and juggling the roster accordingly; disappointing to see him be the victim of his own information there, as the Tourists continue juggle those pitchers.
I didn't learn that information about McAtee until this week, nor did was I able to confirm that Avery Barnes left the roster for Tyler Massey the week previous, which I now can, though I still have no idea what is actually being done with these players. In most cases, such as when they bump Stavert or another player for just a brief period of time, I am guessing they're going onto the Reserve List, but I can't confirm that specifically. Further, I don't think Barnes is on the Reserve List, but I haven't seen rumblings of the DL, TIL or release either. I honestly don't know anything other than he isn't on the active roster anymore.
Gonzalez is another player who spent the season thus far in Arizona at the Extended Spring Training program and was sent to join a team after it ended. As of this writing, Campos, Slaats and Perez are the only players not to have seen game action, meaning one of these was most likely deactivated temporarily, but how specifically I can only speculate.
- Cole Garner placed on the 7 Day Disabled List.
- Mike Paulk activated from the 7 Day Disabled List.
Garner and Paulk have both seen significant DL time this season, but neither has actually been there for more than a few weeks time; they're coming in tiny stints. The official statement regarding the nature of the injury explains that Garner has a sprained left hand.
- Casey Weathers placed on Temporarily Inactive List.
- Alan DeRatt assigned to Tulsa Drillers.
TIL should be a pretty clear concept by now to regular readers. I'm not sure if Weathers was specifically chosen due to a minor injury or they just sent him on his way to make room for DeRatt, but either way, Weathers should be back soon. DeRatt was promoted from A+ Modesto to fill a rotation hole in Tulsa (where Juan Nicasio and Aaron Cook used to be), unusual because DeRatt himself isn't actually a starter. I would guess that the organization didn't feel comfortable promoting any of the regular Modesto rotation at this particular moment, so they promoted DeRatt who was stretched out long enough to eat some innings. Both Joey Williamson and Daniel Turpen, already on the Drillers roster, have been making spot starts this season too.
- Nick Schnaitmann activated from the Temporarily Inactive List.
Replacing DeRatt on the Modesto roster was Schnaitmann, who had been sent to the TIL earlier in the week. Schnaitmann worked as a long reliever rather than as a starter in his one appearance since reactivation, with Leuris Gomez, who had been working long relief earlier in the year, making the start the day before. Not sure if this is a permanent switch or not, but I do not believe they intend to use Gomez as a starter long term.
- Edgar Gonzalez signed as a MiLB Free Agent and assigned to AAA Colorado Spring Sky Sox.
- Claudio Vargas retired.
After a major arm injury to start the season, ineffectiveness both as a starter and reliever for the Sky Sox has seemingly inspired Vargas to call it a career. The Sky Sox had enough warning to go out and grab a replacement starting pitcher in Gonzalez, who has seen plenty of MLB time with the Diamondbacks and Athletics over the 2000s, and was released by Tampa Bay's system earlier in the year.
- Dexter Fowler assigned to AAA Colorado Springs on a rehab assignment.
Fowler joins Rogers as an excess player on the Sky Sox roster. Once again, no corresponding roster move necessary for a rehab assignment.
The Rockies also signed 12 more draftees on the 14th. They are listed below:
- Harold Riggins (1B)
- Timothy Smalling (SS)
- William Rankin (RHP)
- Jordan Ribera (1B)
- Logan Mahon (LHP)
- Brook Hart (LHP)
- Michael Wolford (RHP)
- Matthew Argyropoulos (3B)
- Samuel Mende (SS)
- Jarod Berggren (OF)
- Chris Dennis (RHP)
- Richard Pirkle (C)
All of these players signed thus far (including Ben Alsup from earlier in the week) are 21+ years old and college level. Most of these players will probably be finding their way to Casper, but Tri-City isn't out of the question for any of them. Either way, none of their assignments have been made official.
See you all next week.