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Rockies call up Colton Welker, make flurry of roster moves

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It’s finally time for Colton Welker to make his big league debut, as the Rockies called him up in a flurry of roster moves this afternoon.

It’s a busy day for the Colorado Rockies, who announced a flurry of roster moves in advance of this afternoon’s series finale against the San Francisco Giants.

  • 1B/3B Colton Welker (No. 6 PuRP) has been recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque
  • RHP Anotnio Santos has been recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque
  • RHP Jon Gray has been activated from the 10-day IL (right forearm tightness)
  • RHP Chi Chi González has been placed on the 10-day IL (right oblique strain)
  • RHP Robert Stephenson has been moved to the paternity list
  • INF Joshua Fuentes has been optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque

Colton Welker recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque, set to make MLB debut

This is the biggest move in the set for the Rockies. Welker, the organization’s no. 20 overall prospect, likely would have made his debut earlier in the season if not for an 80-game suspension after testing positive for the performance enhancing drug DHCMT. Welker served the entirety of his suspension and denies ever willingly or intentionally using the substance.

After a brief rehab period, Welker joined the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes on August 8th, where he’s been putting together a strong profile of work. In 84 at-bats with the Isotopes, Welker has slashed .286/.378/.476 with five doubles, one triple, and three home runs. He’s also driven in 18 RBIs and shown solid plate discipline with 12 walks to 20 strikeouts.

The 23-year old corner infielder is already on the 40-man roster, and was largely considered to be MLB-ready after a strong spring training campaign. He put up a line of .362/.392/.553 with two home runs in 47 at-bats. Naturally a third baseman, Welker was moved to first due to initially being blocked by Nolan Arenado, and now he can play both positions competently. In a corresponding roster move, INF Joshua Fuentes has been optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Jon Gray activated from the 10-day IL

When Jon Gray left his August 28th start against the Dodgers after just two innings with tightness in his pitching forearm, there were concerns he would be shut down for the season. After his MRI came back clean, he was projected to make his next start. However, the team put him on the 10-day IL to give him more recovery time.

Gray has put together a strong season for the Rockies in a contract year, and has voiced his desire to stay in Denver as he negotiates a new deal with the front office. In 24 starts, Gray has posted an ERA of 4.13 with 125 strikeouts in 126 13 innings. His last several starts have been bumpy, but that is likely attributed to the massive workload increase from 2020, plus the tightness in his forearm.

Chi Chi González to the 10-day IL (right oblique strain)

Last night’s start against the Giants was rough for Chi Chi González. After just 1 13 innings, eight hits, and five earned runs, his night was brought to an end. Now he’s headed to the injured list with a right oblique strain and it’s unknown if his time in Colorado has reached a conclusion. In 23 games and 18 starts, Chi Chi has posted an ERA of 6.50 across 99 23 innings.

In a corresponding roster move, RHP Antonio Santos has been recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque. The 24-year old rookie has seen action with the big league team in short bursts as an injury fill-in. In seven games with 11 13 innings pitched, Santos has struck out ten batters with an ERA of 4.76. His ability to pitch longer in relief appearances is what makes him an ideal injury fill-in for the team.

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Purple Row will continue to monitor this, and provide updates as they become available.