The Colorado Rockies have optioned catcher Dustin Garneau to the minors and selected the contract of outfielder Ryan Raburn, the team announced today.
The moves are significant, as they mean that Raburn will make the club in a reserve outfield role and that Tony Wolters will be the team's backup catcher to begin the 2016 season.
Raburn, a 35-year-old veteran, spent the 2015 season with the Indians, hitting .301/.393/.543 in 201 plate appearances and 82 games. He especially excelled against left-handed pitching, an area where the Rockies struggled last season, hitting .325/.415/.589 with eight home runs in 151 at bats against southpaws last season.
In spring training with the Rockies this season, Raburn has hit .219/.324/.250 in 37 plate appearances. Purple Row's Isaac Marks made his case for Raburn's inclusion on the Rockies roster here.
As for Wolters, the 23-year-old started his pro career with Cleveland as a middle infielder in 2010. He began catching in 2013 while still seeing time at both shortstop and second base. He was claimed off of waivers by the Rockies in the offseason and a strong spring training performance that has seen him hit .407/.429/.704 with six extra-base hits in 28 plate appearances has seen him earn a spot on the Opening Day roster despite never having played above Double-A.
Purple Row's Bobby DeMuro has talked with Wolters several times throughout the spring, and you can get some insight into the Rockies' backup catcher here.
The addition of Raburn will require the Rockies to make a 40-man roster move which has not yet been announced, but we will have an update when it, along with any other roster news from Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, is released.