DENVER – The Colorado Rockies have once again called up prospect outfielder Raimel Tapia to join the MLB club. Jeff Hoffman, who pitched brilliantly on Friday, was sent back down to Triple-A. He was always scheduled to make one spot start and Bud Black says the Rockies are confident that Hoffman will be able to take what he did on Thursday and fold it into the steady development he has been making this season, continuing to build upon it back in Albuquerque.
We will almost certainly see Hoffman again this season but he could still use some polish and the performances of Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, and German Marquez make it easy for Colorado to give him all the time he needs to iron things out.
Tapia was hitting a ridiculous .405 at Triple-A and was in the midst of a 16-game hit streak when he got the call. There is only one of the 24 games he played for the Isotopes in which he did not reach base. Colorado is hoping he can provide some decent at-bats off the bench and a little added versatility in the outfield.
“This guy is playing great. He’s hitting. Could pitch-run, steal a base. Play defense,” manager Bud Black says. “I think this gives us the best player from Triple-A. And man, the guy has hit. With a four-man bench, he gives us some options.”
The Rockies are now back to having four men on the bench after a day where they carried just three. Bud Black also says Tapia could get some spot starts so it will be fascinating to see what role he plays as Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gonzalez also factor in. Tapia has yet to really impress at the MLB level but he has also yet to get any kind of sustained look. This seems an unlikely time for that to happen, but Black has shown a willingness to stick with guys once they get hot. Mark Reynolds has taken the defacto first base job, with Ian Desmond finding himself out in left field most of the time.
If Tapia can really get going, he could finally carve out his spot on the roster but it’s going to be a difficult path to clear. The Colorado Rockies are overflowing with so much talent, they had to send down a guy who just struck out seven Dodgers in dominant fashion and are having a hard time finding a place for a kid that is hitting .405. These are the New Day Rox.