The Rockies made a few transactions on Monday. First, they placed Charlie Blackmon on the IL with a calf strain. It’s retroactive to Friday, so he’ll be eligible to come back on June 4, when the Rockies start a series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Yonathan Daza replaced Blackmon on the 25-man roster. The Rockies also activated Noel Cuevas from the IL and optioned him to Triple-A.
Blackmon sat out a series before going on the IL with a calf injury. That’s part of the good news, as it suggests that he and the Rockies training staff thought he’d come back from it soon. The other part of the good news is that he told Rox Pile and other reporters that his calf is getting better every day. Let’s hope he can come off the IL as soon as he’s eligible.
You often hear behind the scenes guys described as “the best in the game.” In my years of watching Rockies baseball, this has come up a lot regarding Rockies’ head trainer Keith Dugger. I always ignored it as fluff, not because I had any opinions on how well Dugger does his job, but because I figured that’s what all teams say about their head trainer.
In this excellent profile on Dugger, Patrick Saunders provides a whole lot of reasons why the adulation given to Dugger is well earned and well deserved. He looks back at one specific and dramatic incident, when Juan Nicasio was hit in the head by a come backer in 2011 and might have died if it weren’t for Dugger’s fast action. But he also talks to a lot of current Rockies about the everyday and less dramatic things Dugger does. The everyday things like building relationships and trust with players, and leveraging experience rather than claiming expertise, are what make him an essential part of the team.
Jon Gray attributed his 2018 woes to health issues, mostly having to do with his weight. After the Rockies’ season came to an end, Gray said he was determined to make some foundational changes to return to form. Gray tells Drew Creasman that he does feel better this year, especially in his lower body, and he attributes it to an increased calorie intake and more legwork in the weight room.
On the farm
No. 10 PuRP Ryan Castellani pitched a not great game for the Isotopes. He gave up four runs in five innings while striking out five and walking two. Castellani has a shot to see major league action this season, especially if Jeff Hoffman continues to struggle against major league hitters. Though with outings like this, we’re more likely to see Peter Lambert.
A few PuRPs had good days for Asheville. No. 13 PuRP Terrin Vavra went 3-for-4 with three singles, to raise his season batting average to .322. His teammate and no. 6 PuRP Grant Lavigne hit a double and a home run. And from the mound, no. 19 PuRP Ryan Feltner struck out five batters in five innings while walking two (he gave up two runs on three hits).