The Colorado Rockies made a flurry of moves on Monday, beginning with right-hander Wilton Lopez being designated for assignment. The team also placed outfielder Michael Cuddyer and 23-year-old right-hander Eddie Butler on the 15-day disabled list. Taking their places on the 25-man active roster were pitchers Chad Bettis and Christian Bergman.
#Rockies transactions: Christian Bergman contract selected from AAA, Chad Bettis recalled, Wilton Lopez designated for assignment— Rockies PR (@RockiesPR) June 9, 2014
Colorado acquired the now 30-year-old Lopez in a trade with the Houston Astros two offseasons ago. He was frequently overlooked in Houston, where he posted a 149 ERA+ and 2.92 FIP from 2010-2012. Lopez has been less successful with Colorado, though he was above-average last season, with a 109 ERA+ and 3.57 FIP in just over 75 innings. However, Lopez got off to a disastrous start this year, surrendering eight runs in just six innings pitched. The Rockies demoted him to Triple-A in April, where he has put up a 4.66 ERA (in the hitter-friendly PCL) in 29 innings.
Cuddyer, 35, missed time earlier this season with a strained hamstring, and has been limited to a .317/.366/.500 line in 31 games. He is currently dealing with a shoulder strain that was obtained while diving for a ball near third base last week. Rockies' trainer Keith Dugger told The Denver Post that the injury could sideline Cuddyer for "an extended period of time", and that he will be shut down in the meantime. His loss would represent a significant blow to Colorado's outstanding offense.
Butler was considered to be one of the pitching prospects in the game entering the season, coming in as a top 30 prospect in the game as ranked by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. He made his much-anticipated major league debut on Friday, allowing six runs on 10 hits and three walks in 5.1 innings. He will now be sidelined with right shoulder inflammation, though Dugger stated that the move was "precautionary."
The 26-year-old Bergman will make his major league debut tonight in a matchup against the Braves. He has a 3.84 ERA in 75 innings for Triple-A Colorado Springs this season.
Bettis, a once highly regarded prospect, has now converted to relief full-time, and has seen playing time with the Rockies in each of the past two years, with a 6.36 ERA in 58 big league innings. He has been dominant at Triple-A this season, as he has a 1.66 ERA in just under 22 innings.
The Rockies currently sit 12.5 games behind the Giants in the NL West, and 3.5 out of a wild card spot. At 29-33, they have slightly underperformed their pythagorean record, which pegs them as a .500 team. Their offense is among the best in baseball with a .347 wOBA that ranks first in the big leagues, and a 105 wRC+ that is good for 7th. Their pitching has been significantly worse with a 4.62 staff FIP that is easily the worst in baseball.