Denver native and Colorado Rockies first-round pick Kyle Freeland signed with the team Tuesday. The 21-year-old left-handed pitcher will receive a $2.3 million bonus, well below the $3.2 million slot allotted by MLB for the eighth overall pick. This should allow the Rockies to devote some money from their bonus pool to signing some of their other draft picks. Freeland will report directly to Rookie-ball Grand Junction to begin his pro career.
Carlos Gonzalez had a small tumor removed from his left index finger on Tuesday during an operation in Cleveland. A biopsy will be performed on the tumor, but it appears to be benign, thank goodness. Per head athletic trainer Keith Dugger, it will be a few weeks before the tissue heals and Gonzalez is able to swing a bat. If this surgery solves Gonzalez's persistent finger issues, it will have been worth it.
From relatively good news on CarGo to bad news on Michael Cuddyer, Dugger said that Michael Cuddyer's fractured shoulder socket can't be repaired surgically because an operation would be too invasive. Per Thomas Harding and Teddy Cahill of MLB.com, Cuddyer will be in a sling for six to eight weeks to recover from the fracture naturally. That means we won't see Cuddyer back with the Rockies until late August at the earliest. More importantly, the injury will severely hamper Cuddyer's magic tricks.
And now the good news: the MRI on top prospect Eddie Butler revealed no structural damage in his right shoulder, just inflammation. Butler (PuRP No. 2) will be held from baseball activities for the next five days, then will need to go on a rehab assignment to rebuild arm strength, perhaps at the level he skipped in Triple-A. That's a relief for Rockies fans, who had feared the worst when Butler went on the DL on Monday.
Wednesday night Tyler Matzek (PuRP 14) will make his major league debut for the club that drafted him five years and two days ago with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2009 MLB draft. It's been a long journey for Matzek, who has struggled mightily with his control as a professional. Still, he's only 23 years old and he has the stuff to get major league hitters out in theory. We'll see if that's the case.
Please read Bryan's article on Matzek from Tuesday afternoon for more information on what to watch for from Matzek.
Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post responded to eight questions in his Rockies Mailbag. His responses include the opinion that the Rockies really need an outside hire to serve as team president as well as some thoughts on pitching at altitude.
Troy Tulowitzki still leads the NL in All-Star Voting with just over two million, but Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon have fallen off the voting pace. Arenado is in second place at the hot corner, about 95,000 votes behind David Wright, while Blackmon has slipped to fifth among NL outfielders. Justin Morneau is fourth among NL first basemen in voting.
Nick Groke of the Post writes about Tulo's defense of the team during its slump. He's doing his job just fine; it's the rest of the team I'm worried about.
Benjamin Hochman of the Post looks at how teams are using the spray charts of hitters to maximize defensive opportunities with the shift. Not so much the Rockies though, who are near the bottom of MLB in employing the shift this year but have still managed to play excellent infield defense thus far.
Jonah Keri of Grantland featured Eddie Butler and the Rockies in his column on Monday. Keri was present at our baseball blogger panel last Saturday and included several topics of discussion from that event into the column (including a link to Purple Row!). Of course, shortly after he published the piece, Butler went on the DL.