The Rockies reactivated LHP Jeff Francis from the 15 day DL and he was thrown back into the fire immediately as he took the bump for the Rockies. However, his return was a rough one, as the Padres got all four of their runs off him in just four innings.
The Rockies didn’t stop there, however, as they also recalled Tyler Colvin. Colvin had a decent 2012 for Colorado and was expected to be a bigger piece of the puzzle this year. However, Colvin struggled throughout spring training and ultimately ended up opening the season in Triple A with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Colvin has been pounding the ball in the minors this year, with nine home runs and a .914 OPS.
Honestly, it’s a bit mystifying as to why Colvin was not called up sooner. Eric Young Jr. continues to clog up a spot on the 25-man roster despite the fact that Colvin is a better hitter and outfielder, who is four years younger. Colvin has over 40 home runs and a .468 slugging percentage at the big league level and is still just 24. Young is getting more playing time than ever and perhaps not coincidentally, is putting up the worst numbers of his career at age 28. Colvin’s potential is just so much greater than Young’s that it’s hard to explain why it took until Michael Cuddyer and Carlos Gonzalez were banged up for him to get a chance.
It was not Young, or any other position player, getting sent down to make room for Francis and Colvin. Instead it was a pair of pitchers; starter Jon Garland was designated for assignment and reliever Josh Outman was optioned down to Colorado Springs.
Neither one of these moves comes as a great shock. Garland has not been pitching well since April and sending Tyler Chatwood, Francis’ injury replacement, back down after the way he has pitched would be borderline criminal. As for Outman, he hasn’t really done anything to earn his demotion, but simply is a victim of circumstance. As previously mentioned, the Rockies have some sore outfielders right now and it makes more sense for them to roster a guy who can play any outfield spot. It’s extremely likely that Outman will be back in Denver before too long though, as he’s the Rockies only left-handed relief pitcher not named Rex Brothers.