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Colorado Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau begins rehab assignment in New Britain

Justin Morneau sets out on rehab assignment and hopes to return to the Rockies this season.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Morneau begins rehab action in minors

For the first time since May 13th, Justin Morneau played in a baseball game Friday. The batting champ went 1-for-1 with a single. It wasn't his first appearance with the Rock Cats, but his last came in 2003 when they were the Twins' Double-A affiliate. A three game stint in New Britain is the first step in Morneau’s rehab assignment, who will be evaluated Thursday in regard to a possible return.

Thomas Harding of MLB.com has quotes from Rockies manager Walt Weiss, who expressed that there is still a spot for Morneau with the Rockies moving forward. Morneau’s two-year contract is up after this season, with a $9 million mutual option for 2016.

Jordan Patterson’s glove box growing - The Denver Post

New Britain corner outfielder, Jordan Patterson, has been thrown a new challenge after tearing up both the California and Eastern leagues this season. Ron Gideon, Double-A development supervisor, sees potential for Patterson at first base.
Patterson has made 35 first-base appearances over the last three seasons in the organization and 13 this year in New Britain.
Twenty-three year-old Patterson joins the convoy of first basemen/corner outfielders in the Rockies organization with immense power potential. In 2015, Patterson has put up a .298/.368/.552 line, with 41 doubles.

Rockies call up Gurka, adding lefty to bullpen - Rockies.com

Jason Gurka will presumably make his major league debut this weekend in Pittsburgh; it may have once seemed like a far off possibility for the lefty, who was drafted in 15th-round of the 2008 draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Gurka, 27, spent six seasons in the Orioles organization, only making two appearances at the Triple-A level. He was signed to a minor league deal with the Rockies in December, and is 5-1 in 35 games across Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Albuquerque.

Gurka was called up to relieve the Rockies’ taxed bullpen, which has been operating with just one left hander, Christian Friedrich, since August 17th.

Blog Pile

Gray area after Jon - Rockies Zingers

JJ Buck of Rockies Zingers voices his concerns with the Rockies’ pitching staff beyond 2015. Unlikely heroes Chad Bettis, Chris Rusin and Yohan Flande have given the Rockies 223.2 innings of work in the wake of starters’ injury and poor performance. In that time, Bettis worked a no-hitter into the 8th inning in Philadelphia, and Chris Rusin tossed a complete game shutout at Coors Field.

The question now lies in how the rotation gets better moving forward. The Rockies need guys like Jon Gray, Eddie Butler and the young guns coming up behind them to develop a major league presence. And with Steve Foster’s first year with the team behind him, 2016 could be the year that progress starts to show.