The Colorado Rockies have transferred five players from Spring Training down to Minor League camp.
Infielder Ryan Wheeler, outfielder Tim Wheeler, right-handed pitchers Will Harris, Joe Gardner and Josh Sullivan were all optioned to the minors. This leaves 52 players competing for 25 Opening Day roster spots in Colorado’s Major League camp.
Harris appeared in three games this spring in which he allowed only one hit, struck out three batters and surrendered one walk in three innings. Many thought Harris would be a legitimate contender for a roster spot, but it looks like the Rockies have different plans for the reliever.
The 28-year old is the only player to make it to the big leagues of the five men who were sent down together. In 20 games last season, he posted a 1-1 record with a whopping 8.15 earned run average and 19 strikeouts in 17.2 innings.
Many are surprised that infielder Wheeler was sent down, considering he was projected to be a starter in 2013. The 24-year old was traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks to Colorado this past off-season for Matt Reynolds. However, the fact that he batted a meager .167 in 18 at-bats with four strikeouts might have something to do with why he is currently not in camp.
Meanwhile, outfielder Wheeler is one of the top prospects in the Rockies organization. However, the team would like to see him spend some more time in the minors so that he can get his swing down before he finally gets his chance in the big leagues. He batted .238 with one home run and two RBIs in 21 at-bats this spring.
Gardner made only one appearance in Spring Training, while Sullivan pitched in three games. Sullivan gave up three hits and struck out three batters, but did not surrender a run in the 2.1 innings.