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Rockies select José Ureña, DFA Colton Welker

Desperate for a starter, the Rockies select an eight-year veteran to the 40-man roster to start on Wednesday.

In the wake of Antonio Senzatela’s placement on the 15-day IL last Saturday, and Ryan Feltner dealing with a rhomboid strain, the Colorado Rockies announced they have selected the contract of RHP José Ureña from the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes and he will start Wednesday’s finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team has also optioned RHP Justin Lawrence to Triple-A Albuquerque and in a corresponding move to open a spot on the 40-man roster, Colton Welker has been designated for assignment.

José Ureña

Ureña joined the organization after signing a minor league contract in May. In five starts with Triple-A Albuquerque, Ureña pitched to a 7.29 ERA in 21 innings with 14 strikeouts and 12 walks.

Originally signed by the Florida Marlins in 2008 out of the Dominican Republic, Ureña spent six big league seasons with the Miami Marlins from 2015 to 2020. While in Florida, Ureña posted a 4.60 ERA in 597 innings of work. The best season of his career came in 2017 when he went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA with 113 strikeouts and 64 walks.

He then signed with the Detroit Tigers for the 2021 season, throwing 100 23 innings across 26 games and recording a 5.81 ERA. This season, Ureña broke camp with the Milwaukee Brewers in a relief role where he allowed five runs (three earned) runs on seven hits in 7 23 innings with three strikeouts and five walks before he was designated for assignment a few weeks into the season.

Across eight seasons, Ureña has a career ERA of 4.76 in 172 games (116 starts). The 30-year-old is primarily billed as a groundball pitcher with a career 47.4% ground ball rate, and a home run rate of 3.1%.

Colton Welker

Designating Colton Welker for assignment comes as a bit of a surprise, as he was once touted as one of the top prospects for the team. Drafted in 2016, Welker made his big league debut in 2021 with the Rockies batting .189/.250/.216 in 19 games.

Welker played in just 10 games this season with Triple-A Albuquerque slashing .324/.422/.514 with two home runs and seven RBI, before undergoing season ending shoulder surgery.