Colorado Rockies – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-09-19T04:38:57Z WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Trevor Story Cleared Of Structural Damage In Elbow]]> 2018-09-19T00:13:56Z 2018-09-19T00:10:13Z 7:10pm: Despite that ominous report from Rosenthal, manager Bud Black tells reporters that Story’s MRI did not show any structural damage, and his ulnar collateral ligament is intact (Twitter link via Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller). In fact, Black adds that he hopes to have Story back in the lineup in “a few days.”

1:59pm: There’s nothing official yet, and perhaps the details are still unknown even to team and player, but the initial indication is not terribly promising. Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, via Twitter, Story is “facing potential UCL damage in [his] right elbow.”

In the worst case, of course, a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament can require Tommy John surgery, though there’s no indication to this point whether that will even be considered. Story’s outlook will be better than that of a pitcher, regardless of the final diagnosis, but even a strain could require enough rest to knock him out for the rest of the season and most, if not all, of the postseason.

8:16am: The Rockies are awaiting further word on shortstop Trevor Story, who exited last night’s contest with what the team described as elbow soreness. Story is slated to undergo further examination and testing today, as Kyle Newman of the Denver Post reports (Twitter links).

It’s a worrying situation for a Colorado club that went on to drop the first of a critical three-game set to the Dodgers, thereby surrendering the top spot in the NL West. Even a brief absence from Story could be of great significance; as Dan Symborski of Fangraphs observed on Twitter, the outcome of this series has a massive impact on the probabilities of which team will win the division.

Story, 25, has turned in an outstanding season after a sophomore slump in 2017. Through 623 plate appearances, he’s carrying a .288/.343/.550 slash with 33 home runs. He still strikes out a lot and doesn’t draw many walks, but Story has pared back on the swing-and-miss (26.2% K rate; 11.5% swinging strike rate) as against his prior seasons, even while increasing his swing and chase rates.

While his glovework hasn’t graded as brilliantly this year as last, Story also combines with third bagger Nolan Arenado to form a gifted defensive pairing. Story is even expanding his repertoire a bit this year, swiping 26 bags after not reaching double-digits in either of his first two MLB campaigns.

In sum, the Rockies don’t have much hope of replacing Story’s productivity for any stretch he ends up missing. At this stage of the season, there’s little to do but call upon the next man up and hope for the best. Of course, Story has played almost every inning at short this season, so it’s not entirely clear how the club will fill in. Ian Desmond spent much of his career there and has shifted to short twice already this season. Otherwise, Pat Valaika and Garrett Hampson are the only active players who’ve appeared at the position in 2018.

Clearly, then, a swift return would be most welcome. Story says he experienced pain while throwing and swinging after diving for a ball early in the game, which sounds a bit ominous. But Black suggests there’s at least some cause for optimism after the initial look from the team’s training staff. Of course, he also acknowledged “some apprehension” while waiting for imaging results — an understandable position with so much at stake.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[NL West Notes: Dozier, Belt, Diamondbacks, Black]]> 2018-09-16T14:56:57Z 2018-09-16T14:56:57Z Brian Dozier, mired in a dreadful slump after a hot first week with the Dodgers, spoke to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register about those struggles. Dozier played through a bone bruise in his knee earlier this season, and while he said the knee “feels great” now, he acknowledged that he developed some bad habits at the plate while trying to compensate for it at the time. The 31-year-old Dozier added that he doesn’t believe playing primarily in a platoon capacity has had an adverse impact on him. (The Dodgers’ constant lineup fluctuations based on matchups has been a source of frustration for many of their fans.) Dozier will be a free agent at season’s end, but the .218/.306/.391 slash he’s carrying isn’t likely to do him any favors — particularly when he’ll be heading into his age-32 season next year.

More from the division…

  • Brandon Belt underwent an MRI on his ailing knee, but the Giants aren’t planning to shut him down for the remainder of the season, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Belt is considered day-to-day for the time being, but he’ll start more games before season’s end. It’s been a disastrous summer for Belt — and, really, for most of the Giants’ offense — as his production has cratered after soaring to career-best levels in the season’s first half. Belt, 30, posted a ridiculous .307/.403/.547 batting line through June 1 before landing on the disabled list due to a bout of appendicitis. He never seemed to recover his footing after that, as he’s floundered at a miserable .203/.283/.290 pace since returning. Belt also missed a bit more than two weeks due to a hyperextended knee in late July and early August.
  • Clay Buchholz, whose season ended yesterday due to a flexor mass strain, tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he’d love to return to the Diamondbacks, but there have yet to be any discussions about a new contract between the two sides. Piecoro also chatted with Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, whom the Diamondbacks passed over in favor of Dansby Swanson back in the 2015 Draft. Bregman said he was thrilled to go to the Astros with the No. 2 overall pick but admitted that part of him was also “pissed,” because he’d hoped to be the top overall selection in the draft. He also relayed a story from the 2012 draft, when Arizona showed interest in him as a late first-rounder but instead drafted catcher Stryker Trahan. Arizona called him to see if he’d sign as a second-rounder, but Bregman informed the team he planned on attending college at Louisiana State University.
  • In a fun Sunday-morning read, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post walks through a typical day in the life of Rockies manager Bud Black during the team’s pennant race — covering everything from an early radio appearance to lineup planning, pre-game media sessions, in-game decisions and post-game work and rituals. Saunders also chats with catcher Chris Iannetta and lefty Kyle Freeland about Black’s managerial style and his teaching methods. “Buddy has a laid-back style, but even though it’s laid back, I wouldn’t say it’s relaxed,” says Iannetta of Black — his fifth big league manager. “…I think it’s the sign of a good manager when he knows when to be hands-on and when to take his hands off.” It’s obviously an extra-appealing read for Rox fans, though fans of any club will still appreciate the detailed look at the day-to-day operations of a big league skipper.
Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rosenthal On LeMahieu, Arenado]]> 2018-09-16T01:59:12Z 2018-09-16T01:59:12Z
  • Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu is set to become a free agent at season’s end, and the club may have a successor on hand in prospect Brendan Rodgers. However, Rosenthal floats the idea of the Rockies re-signing LeMahieu – who’s one of their “glue” guys, he notes – and trading superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado in the offseason. Although Arenado’s obviously far superior to LeMahieu, the former only has another year of arbitration control remaining, during which he’ll rake in upward of $20MM. Thus, if the Rockies aren’t confident about extending Arenado, Rosenthal posits that it may make sense for them to move the NL MVP candidate for a package of players who’d “supplement” their roster. That would enable them to re-up LeMahieu and use Rodgers at third base, Rosenthal observes.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[DJ LeMahieu Hires Wasserman Media Group]]> 2018-09-08T15:50:38Z 2018-09-08T15:47:38Z With an offseason trip to free agency looming, Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu has hired the Wasserman Media Group to represent him, Jon Heyman of Fancred reports.

    Although LeMahieu has been a productive second baseman for the Rockies over the past few years, he’s likely in his last season with the club, Kyle Newman of the Denver Post writes. The Rockies have younger second base options on hand in Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers, and their presences are among the reasons the team probably won’t pony up for LeMahieu, Newman explains.

    It hasn’t been an ideal contract year for LeMahieu, 30, as injuries have limited him to 105 games after he appeared in no fewer than 146 contests in each season from 2014-17. LeMahieu has still managed a career-high 14 home runs, contributing to a solid-looking .273/.321/.437 line over 479 PAs that, thanks to Coors Field, is 12 percent worse than league average, according to FanGraphs’ wRC+ metric. But LeMahieu has produced nearly as well on the road as he has at home (.743 away OPS, .772 at Coors), and Statcast has been bullish on his work (.351 expected weighted on-base average versus .326 real wOBA). Further, LeMahieu has been elite in the field this year, with 16 Defensive Runs Saved and a 6.0 Ultimate Zone Rating.

    LeMahieu is one of several established second basemen primed to reach free agency after the season, joining the likes of Daniel Murphy, Jed Lowrie, Brian Dozier, Marwin Gonzalez, Logan Forsythe, Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker, among others. As with LeMahieu, age- and/or performance-related concerns exist with each of them.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mike Dunn To Undergo Season-Ending Shoulder Surgery]]> 2018-09-03T18:43:10Z 2018-09-03T18:31:55Z Rockies reliever Mike Dunn will undergo season-ending surgery on his left A/C joint in the coming weeks, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports.

    The injured Dunn last took the mound July 3, when he allowed at least one earned run for the eighth time in 25 appearances this season. The left-hander wound up throwing 17 innings for the Rockies this year, logging an unsightly 9.00 ERA with more walks (18) than strikeouts (12). It’ll go down as the second straight rough season for the 33-year-old Dunn, formerly an effective reliever with the Marlins.

    In December 2016, on the heels of his Miami tenure, the Rockies added Dunn on a three-year, $19MM guarantee, though that signing has not worked out to this point. The Rockies followed that up by spending big on fellow relievers Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee last winter, but all of them have joined Dunn in struggling this year. Including Dunn’s $7MM, Colorado will owe the four of them a combined $42MM in 2019.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[No Contract Talks Between Rockies, Adam Ottavino]]> 2018-09-02T03:42:35Z 2018-09-02T03:42:35Z
  • Pending free-agent reliever Adam Ottavino hopes to stay with the Rockies, but the two sides have not discussed a new contract, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Ottavino has been a solid reliever for most of his Rockies tenure, which began in 2012, but he has especially effective in 2018. Playing his age-32 season, Ottavino has logged a superb 2.08 ERA with 13.15 K/9 against 4.15 BB/9 across 65 innings, and that production may price him out of Colorado. With Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee and Mike Dunn set to make a combined $42MM in 2019, the Rockies already have significant money tied up next year’s bullpen. Unfortunately for the Rockies, that big-money quartet has been a colossal disappointment this season.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[September Call-Ups: 9/1/18]]> 2018-09-01T22:38:55Z 2018-09-01T21:24:34Z A few call-ups were announced yesterday, but we’re likely to see far more prospect promotions and even contract selections take place today as rosters expand. We’ll use this post to keep track of those moves…

    • The Marlins selected the contract of righty starter Jeff Brigham today; he’ll be among those playing in the majors for the first time ever. Brigham’s solid 3.44 ERA in Triple-A this season is muddied a bit by his 4.45 FIP, but he’s maintained solid ratios. Brigham’s 8.25 K/9 and brilliant 2.24 BB/9 give him a solid 3.69 K/BB ratio that probably looks quite nice to a Marlins club that’s hurting for serviceable major league starters. Miami has also recalled right-handers Sandy Alcantara and Nick Wittgren along with catcher Chad Wallach.
    • The Athletics selected several contracts today, including that of catching prospect Beau Taylor. The lefty-hitting backstop has never played in the majors, but he’s done well for himself at the Triple-A level this season by drawing walks in 14% of his plate appearances while hitting .248. He’s even chipped in a pair of stolen bases. The biggest knock on Taylor is his lack of power; the 28-year-old owns a sub-.100 ISO and has never hit more than eight homers in a given season. Other contracts selected by the Astros today include those of lefty Dean Kiekhefer and righties Chris Hatcher and Liam Hendriks. The A’s recalled lefty Daniel Coulombe and shortstop Franklin Barreto as well.  
    • The Indians selected the contract of right-hander Jon Edwards today, who hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2015. The 30-year-old Edwards has done well for himself in the Tribe’s minor league system in 2018, though, racking up 56 strikeouts in just 39 1/3 innings while pitching to a 3.64 ERA. Though he’s exhibited extreme control issues in the past, his 2.70 BB/9 in 30 innings with Triple-A Columbus suggests there’s a possibility he’s put those problems behind him. The Tribe promoted catcher Eric Haase to the majors alongside him.


    • The Mariners have selected the contract of Justin Grimm among their September moves, whom they signed to a minor league contract on July 25th. Grimm’s been plagued by shoulder and back issues all season and struggled to a cataclysmic 13.50 ERA in 12 2/3 innings for the Royals earlier this season, which led to his release early on in the summer. With the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate, though, he’s put up a pristine 1.64 ERA and an even more impressive 13.91 K/9 mark. In addition to Grimm, Seattle also selected the contract of Kristopher Negron, and recalled right-handers Chasen Bradford and Ryan Cook, lefty James Pazos, catcher David Freitas.
    • The Nationals have selected the contract of right-hander Austen Williams, who’ll be getting his first MLB cup of coffee this September. He’s been quite impressive in the upper minors this season, including a 0.55 ERA in 16 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. That’s backed up by excellent peripherals, including 20 strikeouts against just four walks. Williams had pitched exclusively as a starter until this season, and it appears a transition to a relief role has catapulted him to a status as an incredibly intriguing talent. The Nats also recalled catcher Pedro Severino to fill in while Wieters is dealing with a hip/groin injury (per Jamal Collier of
    • The White Sox promoted Caleb Frare to get his first taste of the bigs; as James Fegan of The Athletic points out, he needed to be added to the 40-man roster in order to be protected from the coming winter’s Rule 5 Draft. They’ve good reason to do so, as the lefty reliever has thrived with the organization ever since being acquired from the Yankees a month ago in exchange for $1.5MM in international bonus pool funds. He’s put up fantastic numbers in 12 2/3 innings at Triple-A Charlotte, including a 0.71 ERA and 13.50 K/9. Aaron Bummer will join him as the other White Sox player to receive a September promotion so far.
    • The Royals have selected the contract of catcher Meibrys Viloria to account for the hole left by Drew Butera, who was traded to the Rockies yesterday. Fascinatingly, Kansas City decided to promote the 21-year-old Columbia native even though he’s never played above the High-A level. He’s done just fine there, though, batting .260/.342/.360 in 407 plate appearances over the course of 2018. Viriola is expected to maje his MLB debut as early as this week while mainstay catcher Salvador Perez deals with a sprained thumb.
    • After a short stay in the minors, righty reliever Ray Black is back up with the Giants. He’s had a poor showing in the majors so far, allowing ten earned runs in 15 1/3 innings. He did manage to strike out 22 batters in that span, though, and owns a 2.11 FIP in 25 2/3 innings at Triple-A this season. His blistering 16.13 K/9 at that level perhaps speaks to his potential even more.
    • The Cardinals recalled catcher Carson Kelly today, who’s widely considered to be the club’s catcher of the future once Yadier Molina’s contract is complete. However, he’s yet to prove his worth at the major-league level, as evidenced by his .150/.216/.187 batting line across 118 MLB plate appearances. The Redbirds have also called up lefty Tyler Webb and righty Daniel Poncedeleon.
    • The Phillies have opted to recall outfielder Aaron Altherr, who’d largely been a fixture in the club’s major-league outfield for the past two seasons prior to a late-July demotion. While his 13.3% walk rate so far this season was downright fantastic, that was about the only aspect of Altherr’s performance to be happy about; he was striking out at a 32.7% clip while hitting just .171 and slugging just .305. Philadelphia also added outfielder Dylan Cozens and righty reliever Yacksel Rios to their active roster.
    • The Yankees are set to give right-hander Stephen Tarpley his first taste of major-league action after selecting his contract earlier today. Tarpley is quite an interesting arm-he’s been utilized as a multi-inning reliever at two levels of the minors this year, and to great effect. Most recently, he’s pitched to a 2.65 ERA and 10.06 K/9 across 17 appearances spanning 34 innings at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Infielder Tyler Wade and right-hander Luis Cessa will also join the MLB club as rosters expand.
    • The Mets will give righty Eric Hanhold his first taste of major-league action, MLBTR has learned. Acquired in the 2017 trade that sent Neil Walker to the Brewers, Hanhold has apparently been quite unlucky to own his 7.11 ERA at Triple-A this season. Rather, his 3.43 FIP in 19 innings at that level produces some level of optimism that he can serve as a quality reliever in the majors. A .429 BABIP and 2.86 K/BB ratio further strengthen that case.
    • The Reds are set to give shortstop prospect Blake Trahan a September call-up, as C. Trent Rosencrans of The Athletic was among those to tweet. Trahan came to the Reds by way of the club’s third-round draft pick back in 2015. He did not rank amongst MLB Pipeline’s top 30 Reds prospects in the publication’s most recent rankings, though Fangraphs ranks him 24th in that regard thanks to a 55 speed tool and a 60-grade arm. He’s also likely to be a league-average shortstop. That’s about all there is to like about Trahan at present, as he’s only hit .245/.327/.302 at the minors’ highest level.
    • The Reds have also recalled Lucas Sims, who arrived in Cincinnati just prior to the non-waiver trade deadline as part of the package in exchange for sending Adam Duvall to Atlanta. Sims owns a 5.96 ERA and 7.15 K/9 in a Braves uniform, but his minors track record indicates he might have better days yet to come; the righty has managed to strike out at least ten batters per nine innings at every level of the minors post-Rookie ball, and has a sub-4.00 MiLB ERA in each of the past two seasons.
    • The Twins will promote right-hander Zach Littell, according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Littell has but 3 1/3 innings of MLB experience, during which time he allowed seven earned runs with one strikeout en route to a demotion. His 3.57 ERA at Triple-A this season is far more palatable, albeit unspectacular.
    • The Twins also announced that they’ve selected the contract of left-hander Andrew Vasquez, who’ll be receiving his first cup of coffee after pitching to a sub-1.50 ERA out of minor-league bullpens across the past three seasons combined. They’ve also selected catcher Chris Gimenez in addition to recalling outfielder Johnny Field and right-hander Tyler Duffey.
    • The Red Sox have officially recalled five players, including first base/outfield type Sam Travis. After serving as a somewhat serviceable piece in 2017 (.263/.325/.342 batting line), Travis has struggled in limited major-league action this year to the tune of a 45 wRC+ and -0.1 fWAR. Boston has also promoted left-handers Bobby Poyner and Robby Scott, as well as right-hander William Cuevas and infielder Tzu-Wei Lin.
    • The Tigers have recalled right-hander Sandy Baez from Double-A Erie, per a club announcement. Baez made his major-league debut back on June 4th, entering the game in relief during a double-header. He didn’t allow any runs in 4 1/3 innings, though he did walk three batters in that appearance. Aside from that, Baez has never pitched above Double-A, and owns a troublesome 5.64 ERA there on the 2018 season, in part due to command issues.
    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[August 31st Trade Deadline Recap]]> 2018-09-01T16:35:07Z 2018-09-01T15:42:28Z A flurry of activity came yesterday in advance of the deadline to acquire postseason-eligible players via trade. In case you weren’t able to keep track of it all, here’s a roundup of the swaps made by MLB organizations on August 31st, 2018, sorted by the team on the acquiring end of the major-leaguer involved.

    AL West

    AL Central

    • The Indians acquired Josh Donaldson from the Blue Jays. Toronto will send $2.7MM to Cleveland as well, and they’ll get back a player to be named later, the quality of which will be dependent upon how Donaldson’s health situation progresses.

    AL East

    • The Yankees took Adeiny Hechavarria off the Pirates’ hands in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. It’s not yet known how much cash the Bucs will chip in to help pay the ~$1MM still owed to Hechavarria.
    • The Yankees also pried Andrew McCutchen from the Giants. San Francisco gets infield prospect Abiatal Avelino and right-handed pitching prospect Juan De Paula.

    NL West

    NL Central

    NL East

    • (No trades)
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rockies Acquire Drew Butera]]> 2018-08-31T17:24:36Z 2018-08-31T17:02:18Z The Rockies announced Friday that they’ve acquired veteran catcher Drew Butera and cash from the Royals in exchange for minor league left-hander Jerry Vasto.

    Butera, 35, has been the primary backup to Kansas City mainstay Salvador Perez for the past three seasons and will bring nine years of MLB experience to the Rockies’ roster. He’s hitting .188/.259/.289 through 166 plate appearances this season and is a lifetime .201/.258/.298 batter between the Royals, Angels, Dodgers and Twins.

    While he’s clearly never been much of a threat with the bat, Butera has a strong defensive reputation, even if his performance in 2018 has been more questionable in that regard. He’s prevented 30 percent of stolen-base attempts against him in his career but has seen that number plummet to 13 percent in 2018. He’s been a quality pitch-framer in the past as well, but Baseball Prospectus grades his efforts in that regard to be below average this season.

    Butera inked a two-year, $3.8MM contract with the Royals prior to the 2017 season and will be a free agent following the current campaign. He’s earning $2.3MM this year and is still owed about $381K of that sum through the end of the year. He becomes the latest backup catcher to swap hands in the past 48 hours, as each of Rene Rivera, Chris Stewart, Bobby Wilson and Chris Gimenez have also changed hands with teams looking to add veteran catching help in advance of expanded September rosters.

    Vasto, 26, made his MLB debut with the Rockies earlier this year but appeared in just one game and tossed only two-thirds of an inning. He was hit hard in his first season of Triple-A duty in 2017 but has turned in considerably more promising results in 2018: a 3.16 ERA, 10.7 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 0.73 HR/9 and a 43.5 percent ground-ball rate in 37 innings. He’ll give the Royals a controllable left-handed option for their bullpen. Because his contract was only selected this season, he comes with the added bonus of having multiple minor league options remaining beyond the 2018 campaign.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Matt Holliday Discusses Which Teams He Was Willing To Join]]> 2018-08-26T03:25:04Z 2018-08-26T03:25:04Z
  • First baseman/outfielder Matt Holliday went without a contract until July 28, when the Rockies signed him to a minor league pact, but he did garner offers before then. It seems the 38-year-old held off on signing because he wanted to join a team with which he had a “personal connection,” Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. With that in mind, Holliday said Friday he’d have been open to offers from the Rockies, Cardinals, and perhaps the Yankees – all teams he has played for – as well as certain other unnamed clubs. After a brief and highly successful run at the Triple-A level with the Rockies, Holliday’s back in Colorado, which selected his contract Thursday. On Saturday, in his fifth at-bat of the year, Holliday victimized the Cardinals with a pinch-hit, 448-foot blast to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead. The Rox ended up rolling to a 9-1 win to climb within a half-game of the Cards for the NL’s top wild-card spot.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Allen, Holliday, Cease]]> 2018-08-25T15:48:05Z 2018-08-25T15:48:05Z Last night, Indians reliever Cody Allen’s year-long struggles continued as he blew a save against the cellar-dwelling Royals. Allen’s latest collapse on the mound, during which he gave up back-to-back homers to a pair of rookies, prompted Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer to address whether or not the newly-acquired Brad Hand ought to be given the full-time closer job. While Hoynes does more spitballing than actual answering of the question, he does quote manager Terry Francona at one point, who says that “I’ll sit down and talk to him again because we need him. We can’t run from Cody. We need him really bad to win. So we’ll visit a little bit.” From my perspective, Allen may not only be pitching himself out of his “closer” job, but also out of a potential qualifying offer at season’s end, which he seemed a near lock to warrant at the outset of the 2018 season. That’d be bad news for a small-market Cleveland ballclub that would surely like to be rewarded for his departure with a compensatory draft pick.

    A couple of items from elsewhere around the league…

    • 38-year-old Matt Holliday’s return to the Rockies became official last night, as he played left field against the Padres last night. After lingering on the free agent market all last winter in hopes of securing a major-league contract, Holliday recently joined the Rockies on a minor league pact and demolished Triple-A pitching en route to a call-up to help the MLB club, as Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post details in his latest piece. “I’m here to help the team in any way possible,” Holliday said of his return to the majors. “I’m just here to be part of the team and do everything I can to impact the team, as best I can.” The seven-time All-Star feels as though he’s in excellent shape, in part thanks to his tune-up in the minors. For his part, manager Bud Black is happy to have both Holliday’s playing ability and leadership in the fold as the team pushes for a playoff berth.
    • The White Sox have opted to shut down one of their top pitching prospects for the season, James Fegan of The Athletic reports via Twitter.  However, the decision isn’t related to any sort of injury. Rather, Dylan Cease has simply reached an innings threshold that the organization doesn’t wish to push him past. The 22-year-old right-hander has tossed 124 innings combined between Chicago’s High-A and Double-A affiliates, which exceeds his career high workload by about 30. Cease hasn’t faced much resistance in his ascension, posting a 1.72 ERA with Double-A Birmingham this season while racking up a whopping 78 strikeouts in just 52 1/3 innings pitched.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rockies Select Contract Of Matt Holliday]]> 2018-08-23T16:55:29Z 2018-08-23T16:54:21Z 11:54am: The Rockies have formally announced the move. Infielder Garrett Hampson was optioned to Triple-A to open a spot on the active roster.

    9:16am: Matt Holliday looks to be on the verge of donning a Rockies uniform for the first time since 2008. Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post (via Twitter) that Holliday, who signed a minor league contract with the organization earlier this month, will have his contract selected today and could be at Coors Field for today’s game.

    When Holliday went unsigned this past offseason at the age of 38, many wondered whether that might be the end of an excellent 14-year big league career. But the veteran slugger told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch back in April that he hoped to continue his playing career, and his original organization has given him the opportunity to do so.

    Holliday has made the most of his opportunity in Triple-A Albuquerque, where he’s absolutely clobbered minor league pitching through a small sample of 15 games and 62 plate appearances. In that brief trial run, Holliday has batted .346/.452/.596 with three homers and four doubles. He’s also drawn nine walks against nine strikeouts in his return to professional ball.

    The Rockies cleared a spot on the 40-man roster yesterday when Double-A catcher Chris Rabago was claimed on outright waivers by the Yankees. Presumably, that spot will go to Holliday, who’ll give the Rockies an additional option in the outfield corners and at first base. A corresponding 25-man move will still need to be made.

    Holliday spent the 2017 season with the Yankees and served as the team’s primary designated hitter for much of the season, batting .231/.316/.432 with 19 home runs and 18 doubles in 427 plate appearances during his lone season in the Bronx. In total, he’s a career .299/.378/.511 hitter with 314 home runs through 7916 plate appearances between the Rockies, Athletics, Cardinals and Yankees.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Place Aroldis Chapman On DL, Claim Chris Rabago From Rockies]]> 2018-08-22T21:15:39Z 2018-08-22T20:56:27Z The Yankees announced that they’ve placed closer Aroldis Chapman on the 10-day disabled list with inflammation in his left knee and recalled righty Chance Adams from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees also claimed minor league catcher Chris Rabago off waivers from the Rockies and optioned him to Double-A Trenton.

    Chapman exited last night’s game with a trainer after throwing his sixth pitch. He’d been displaying diminished velocity prior to that, sitting at about 96 mph with his heater. He’s headed to see a doctor on Friday, tweets Bryan Hoch of, though the hope is that he’ll only require a minimal 10-day stint on the shelf. With Chapman sidelined, the Yankees will likely to turn to either Zach Britton or David Robertson to finish off games in save situations, though manager Aaron Boone has not yet tipped his hand as to who’ll be his primary stopper.

    As for Rabago, he’ll join the Yankees organization after struggling through a down season in Double-A this year. A 13th-round selection by the Rockies back in 2014, Rabago played his way onto the 40-man roster when he batted .272/.350/.393 through 358 plate appearances in Class-A Advanced last season. In 2018, however, he’s managed just a .213/.292/.361 slash through 229 plate appearances. Rabago, who turned 25 back in April, has thrown out 34 percent of would-be base thieves in his minor league career.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Matt Holliday Making Case For MLB Promotion ]]> 2018-08-19T02:34:27Z 2018-08-19T02:34:27Z
  • Rockies veteran first baseman/outfielder Matt Holliday, 38, is making a case for a promotion to the majors, Thomas Harding of writes. Holliday, who sat on the unemployment line until Colorado signed him to a minor league deal on July 28, has slashed a tremendous .370/.473/.652 in 55 PAs with its top minors affiliate in Albuquerque. Rockies manager Bud Black has taken notice, saying: “He’s checking off some boxes. The thing that we’re happy about is the physical side. Mentally, Matt’s been a longtime player. You get back up to speed real quick. That didn’t take long, I’m sure. But the confidence that when he faces all sorts of pitching — there’s a difference between big league pitching and minor league pitching, but he’s been able to face a lot of different styles of pitching in Triple-A — will continue to get him closer to coming to us.” If the Rockies were to promote Holliday, he’d be in line for his second stint as a member of the club, with which he began his career and thrived from 2004-08.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Blue Jays, Rockies Complete Seunghwan Oh Trade]]> 2018-08-14T12:47:09Z 2018-08-14T12:47:09Z The Blue Jays have acquired young righty Bryan Baker from the Rockies, according to Robert Murray of The Athletic (via Twitter). Baker represents the player to be named later from the pre-deadline deal that sent reliever Seunghwan Oh to Colorado, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets.

    That swap has already paid dividends for the Rox, who have received 8 2/3 innings of 2.08 ERA ball from Oh. On the other side, the Jays had already welcomed youngsters Chad Spanberger and Forrest Wall into their system under the pact.

    Baker becomes the third and final piece of the trade. Now 23, he came to the professional ranks as an 11th-round pick in the 2016 draft. Baker has worked as a reliever  for the past two seasons, so it seems likely he’ll be developed as a potential future bullpen asset.

    Though he showed quite well in 2017, Baker has had some struggles this season. He has allowed a palatable tally of 19 earned runs through 45 innings, and compiled a healthy 11.6 K/9, but has seen a whopping 17 unearned runs cross the plate as well. There are obviously a variety contributing factors to that, but one of them is surely the fact that he’s exhibiting newfound command issues (6.8 BB/9).