If not Stewart, who might be in line to join Rockies?
With the Colorado Rockies now getting two days off before starting a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates and another day of rest after the series, the team’s need to carry 13 pitchers has been reduced significantly. And withnow slowed by a side injury, the Rockies could revisit adding a position player for the weekend. Rain is in the forecast for Saturday and the Rockies may stick with their current setup for a few more days depending on how Wigginton improves with two days off. But eventually the Rockies will add another position player. A look at the candidates to join the team when the time comes:
, 3B: With Stewart eligible to come back to the majors this weekend, the Rockies could simply let Stewart reclaim his roster spot in the coming days. Stewart is hitting .429 with two home runs and 12 RBI in six games, and just as important has struck only once in his past three games. But having already sent him to Triple-A, the Rockies may choose to let him continue to get regular at-bats for another week or two and continue to work on his overall approach at the plate. It would also allow the Rockies to keep trying to work Ty Wigginton and out of slumps without having to contend with Stewart for playing time.
, IF: Has quietly had a solid season for the Sky Sox, hitting .324 with two home runs and 11 RBI. He has played second, third and short this season and would provide more versatility for the Rockies especially if Wigginton’s injury is a continuing problem. The biggest drawback: he’s a right-handed hitter, and if Wigginton is healthy Nelson doesn’t fit well in already crowded infield.
., IF/OF: Already on the 40-man roster and a veteran of the Rockies clubhouse, he would be a seamless addition for a few days until Stewart is ready to return. He’s hitting .328 with with six stolen bases and more walks than strikeouts in 17 games. His game-changing speed would be an asset off the bench. The Rockies already know who he is as a second baseman — an athletic but erratic fielder — but complicating a recall is the increased playing time Young has been getting outfield. The Rockies may prefer that he continue to get regular playing time in the outfield to improve his defense there.
, IF/OF: He’s hitting .364 with eight doubles and 11 RBI and provides perhaps the best mix of versatility and experience. He can play nearly anywhere on the diamond and is a switch-hitter. The biggest drawback to bringing him up now would be the risk losing him later. If the Rockies feel he can be a valuable addition down the stretch later in the season or insurance against an injury in the infield, they would need to find a way to keep him in the majors once they bring him up. Given how he has played at Triple-A this year, some team would probably claim him off waivers if he were exposed.
, 1B: The best argument is how he is hitting at Triple-A — .361 with five home runs and 20 RBI. The argument against is a fairly obvious one: the Rockies already have two left-handed first baseman and might find more value in a 13th pitcher than a third left-handed hitter limited to one position.
Josh Fields, 1B/3B: He provides some of the same upside as Jacobs — major-league experience and a solid bat off the bench. While he can play first base like Jacobs, he can play third base as well, which would better balance with the Rockies’ needs. But he would require a 40-man roster move to clear room.
, OF: On merit alone, he has probably earned a recall. He’s been the Sky Sox’s best hitter and arguably the best in the farm system thus far, hitting. 354 with seven doubles, six home runs, 20 RBI and five stolen bases. Two major drawbacks: he’s a left-handed hitter and finding time in an outfield with two other left-handed hitters wouldn’t be easy; and while he’s almost certain to see the majors at some point this year, if the Rockies recall him for a brief stay and send him back to Triple-A, they will burn an option. But if he comes up and stays up, either in case of an injury or as a September callup, the Rockies will still get a look at him with using an option.
, OF: His season got off to a good start — currently he’s hitting .366 — but a hand injury sidelined him more than a week. He played Tuesday for the first time since April 15. He will need a few more days to get back to where he was before the injury, but among outfielders, he would be the easiest recall for a few days because he’s already on the 40-man roster.
, OF: Like Young he would bring game-changing speed and familiarity with the Rockies clubhouse. But after a decent start — .255, two home runs, three stolen bases — he hasn’t played since leaving a game on April 20 with an injury. If he’s healthy, he’s the best defensive option in the outfield, but he would necessitate a 40-man roster move.
, C: He’s not off to a bad start at Triple-A, but was hitting just .265 until a 5-for-5 night Tuesday boosted his average to .333. Pacheco continues to be a work in progress as catcher and the Rockies are far more likely to keep him behind the plate everyday in the minors than put him on the bench in the majors.