Rockies recall Garner, option Mortensen to Triple-A

July 4, 2011 | 1:49 pm | 4  

The Colorado Rockies recalled outfielder Cole Garner from Triple-A Colorado Springs and made room for him on the roster by optioning pitcher Clayton Mortensen to the Sky Sox.

Because of the addition of left-hander Eric Stults on Sunday, the Rockies still have seven relievers on their 12-man pitching staff. And Garner gives the Rockies outfield depth with Carlos Gonzalez recovering from a right wrist contusion sustained Sunday when he banged into the wall at Coors Field.

Garner, 26, has never played in the majors. In 36 games for Colorado Springs this season, Garner, who was recently sidelined with a sprained left middle finger, is hitting .340 with seven homers and 29 RBI. Garner also has a .376 on-base percentage and a .567 slugging percentage. He has eight walks and 35 strikeouts in 150 at-bats.

The Rockies drafted Garner in the 26th round in 2003 out of La (Calif.) Quinta High School where his teammates included Sky Sox third baseman Ian Stewart and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy.

Mortensen, 25, has had two stints with the Rockies this season and is 2-4, 3.86 in 16 games, including six starts, the last on June 6. Mortensen moved into a long relief role when Aaron Cook returned to the rotation. After making relief appearances on April 18 and 24, Mortensen was optioned to Colorado Springs on April 29.

The Rockies recalled Mortensen on May 7 for what turned out to be a stay that lasted nearly two months and saw him pitch in 14 games. Mortensen gave up seven hits and four runs in 3 1/3 innings Sunday in a 16-8 loss to the Royals. He threw 59 pitches in that outing and wasn’t going to be available for a couple days. So with Stults having been added to the bullpen, the Rockies brought up Garner to restore their roster to 13 position players and a five-man bench.


  • Reader f/k/a Mike | July 4, 2011 | 2:34 pm

    Calling up an OF also helps if the knock on Gonzalez’s wrist keeps him out of games.

  • Julian | July 4, 2011 | 3:21 pm

    This move makes complete sense to me.

    I am looking forward to seeing what Garner can do. We have needed an effective right handed outfielder, and I hope that Garner can be that guy. We all love Spilly, but he hasn’t played great this year, and he will probably be relatively expensive to sign for next year given his role, and he might have some trade value at the trade deadline, so it would be great if Garner shows that he can play at the major league level.

  • rockymountainhigh | July 4, 2011 | 4:32 pm

    It’s good to send Mort back to Springs. His sinkers have flattened out and it’s been HR after HR off Mort.

  • Brian | July 4, 2011 | 5:40 pm

    This guy is a gamer – I like him and have seen him play in the Springs. Kinda like a Spilly grinder type of guy. Hope he gets a shot to contribute, happy he finally made it to the bigs.