The Colorado Rockies have made a series of roster moves in the last several days since Jon Gray had to go on the disabled list with a fractured foot and Gerardo Parra needed a few days to celebrate the birth of his child.
Shane Carle and Raimel Tapia joined the team for a brief time, and Tapia even got a couple of starts, but both are now back in Triple-A. Neither did much to speak of, though Carle looked fine in his one inning of work, but both did their job and will almost certainly reappear at some point this season.
Parra has returned to the team and resume his role as the starting left fielder. Odd as it may seem, the statistics suggest the Rockies need, and have missed, his offense.
The biggest change announced today is that Pat Valaika will be making his season debut with the team, presuming he gets into a ballgame. Valaika, a utility infielder who primarily plays shortstop, appeared in 11 games at the end of the 2016, hitting .267/.327/.422 with one home run and 11 RBI.
Valaika is unlikely to get many starts the way the roster is currently constructed, but what playing time he does get could be an audition for a place on the team moving forward. Him performing well could make the team feel more comfortable about cutting Cristhian Adames.
The Rockies say they will reevaluate Gray in about a month.
As it stands, the Rockies have ultimately replaced Gray’s spot on the roster not with a pitcher (Carle) but with Valaika, deciding they can either get through the next stretch of games with a four-man rotation or use Chris Rusin for a spot start or two. Additionally, the Rockies are recognizing their need for a little help on offense and a little pop on the bench.
Valaika hit 13 home runs in 2016 in Double-A and hit .288/.362/.558 with three home runs this past spring training.