Rockies' Arenado, LeMahieu, Morneau finalists for Gold Glove

Rockies' Arenado, LeMahieu, Morneau finalists for Gold Glove

DENVER -- A Rockies franchise known for its bats has had a nice tradition with the glove. Third baseman Nolan Arenado, second baseman DJ LeMahieu and first baseman Justin Morneau could add to the growing reputation.

Arenado, LeMahieu and Morneau were named Thursday as finalists for the National League Rawlings Gold Glove Award at their respective positions. Last year, Arenado and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez won the awards. Since 2010 (their last winning season) the Rockies have carried home six.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies part ways with coaches Wright, McLaughlin

DENVER -- The Rockies' on-the-field changes began Thursday, when the team announced that it has parted ways with pitching coach Jim Wright and assistant pitching coach Bo McLaughlin.

The moves came after a season in which the Rockies went 66-96 and finished last in the Majors in several categories -- ERA (4.84), WHIP (1.44) and save conversions (24 for 49). Their .276 batting average against was the Majors' second-highest.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Taste of starting duties has McKenry ready for more

Catcher willing to contribute however Rox need him, but enjoys No. 1 role

Taste of starting duties has McKenry ready for more

DENVER -- Rockies catcher Michael McKenry knows better than to believe his solid 2014 season automatically means bigger and better in 2015.

McKenry underwent left knee meniscus surgery in July 2013 with the Pirates, and he began this season at Triple-A Colorado Springs while completing his recovery. When ready, he hit a career-best .315 in 57 games, including 45 starts. But he remembers the last time he had a similarly encouraging performance.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rox prospect shines as pitch clock gets second look

Salt River mounts five-run eighth to upend Glendale; game time at 2:28

Rox prospect shines as pitch clock gets second look

SCOTTSDALE -- Just when it looked like the Salt River Rafters were on the verge of dropping a second straight game to the Glendale Desert Dogs, the bats came alive and pulled out the victory. The Rafters, who had been shut down for the bulk of the evening, scored five runs in the eighth inning on their way to a 5-1 win Thursday night at Salt River Fields.

Thursday night's matchup was also the second game to feature the 20-second pitch clock, which Major League Baseball's Pace of Game Committee is testing -- along with other time-saving measures -- in the Arizona Fall League. The game lasted two hours and 28 minutes, making the average of "pitch-clock games" a swift two hours and 21 minutes.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Brothers striving for greater consistency in 2015

Lefty reliever will be counted on to help improve Rockies' bullpen

Brothers striving for greater consistency in 2015

DENVER -- Rockies left-handed reliever Rex Brothers' control deserted him -- in the form of three walks and a wild pitch -- during the ugly eighth inning of a 5-4 loss to the Padres at Petco Park on April 14. But the aftermath was even more damaging.

"Did I necessarily leave it alone and move on?" Brothers said. "No, I didn't. That one stuck with me longer than it should have. You look up and you've had a three-week or a month bad stretch instead of a day or two bad stretch. You have to truly get it behind you and move on."

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Bridich's work as Rockies' GM already underway

Bridich's work as Rockies' GM already underway

DENVER -- Here are some items to watch in the early days of Jeff Bridich's time as the Rockies' general manager, based on conversations with various sources familiar with the situation:

Decisions, decisions

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Helton enjoying postseason, likens Royals to 2007 Rockies

Former first baseman recently helped out at the Denver Rescue Mission

Helton enjoying postseason, likens Royals to 2007 Rockies

DENVER -- Former Rockies star first baseman Todd Helton watched as analysts at this year's American League Championship Series postgame show raved about how they'd never seen a postseason run from an off-the-radar team like the Royals.

Uh, Helton and the 2007 Rockies lived it.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rivals make GM, managerial changes to keep up in NL West

D-backs, Rockies and Padres shake up front office, dugout

Rivals make GM, managerial changes to keep up in NL West

As the Giants bid to win their third World Series title since 2010, most of the other members of the National League West have been busy restructuring in attempt to find the mix that might bring them the kind of consistent success San Francisco has gained with its stable and tenured management structure.

While Giants general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy both stand as the longest-tenured National League employees in their respective roles, three other NL West members -- the D-backs, Padres and Rockies -- have all recently hired either a new GM or manager.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Weiss likes position switch for prospect Herrera

Manager also pleased with progress of pitcher Freeland, top hitters

Weiss likes position switch for prospect Herrera

DENVER -- The move of the Rockies' lanky, switch-hitting prospect Rosell Herrera from the infield to center field switched into high gear during the Rockies' recent fall instructional program, and manager Walt Weiss likes the early results.

Weiss spent several days at the Rockies' training center in Scottsdale, Ariz. He also left impressed with the top pick this year, left-handed starting pitcher Kyle Freeland, and a quartet of hitters who helped lift Asheville to the Class A South Atlantic League championship -- David Dahl, Correlle Prime, Raimel Tapia and Ryan McMahon.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Passion for baseball defines new GM Bridich

Graduate of Harvard, tri-captain as player; joined Rockies operations in '04

Passion for baseball defines new GM Bridich

DENVER -- Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon recalls joining a group of Minor Leaguers on a lazy extended Spring Training day. Well, the day wasn't lazy as much as the players were -- until then-senior player-development director Jeff Bridich stepped among the guys in uniform.

Since graduating from Harvard University in 2000, Bridich built a career in professional baseball -- first in the office of the Commissioner of Baseball and since 2004 with the Rockies analyzing statistics, crunching payroll numbers and coming up with instruction. But a part of Bridich -- who was named Wednesday to replace Dan O'Dowd as the Rockies' general manager -- never stopped being the gritty catcher and outfielder who earned the honor of being a tri-captain his senior year.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

O'Dowd's decision to step down opens door

Rockies' farm director Bridich excited for new opportunity as GM

O'Dowd's decision to step down opens door

DENVER -- Dan O'Dowd knew it was time to move on.

Every job as a life expectancy. His tenure as the general manager of the Colorado Rockies had reached the end.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Former Rox Minor Leaguer Laurent killed in crash

DENVER -- Former Rockies Minor League outfielder Chandler Laurent was killed Wednesday night when a car he was driving collided into the back of an 18-wheeler that had slowed in traffic on Interstate 12 near Covington, La., the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper reported Thursday, citing a Louisiana State Police report.

Laurent, who was to have turned 27 on Oct. 17, was a Rockies 21st-round pick out of Delgado Community College in New Orleans in the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He played in the Rockies' system through 2012, splitting that season between Class A teams Asheville and Modesto. Laurent appeared in four games last season with Sioux Falls of the independent American Association. In five total Minor League seasons, Laurent appeared in 273 games and batted .255 with 31 home runs and 143 RBIs.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Back pain pulls prospect Butler out of AFL

Colorado's No. 2 prospect will not take part in Arizona Fall League

Back pain pulls prospect Butler out of AFL

DENVER -- Deciding to be careful with upper back and shoulder pain that showed up during his final 2014 start, Rockies right-hander Eddie Butler pulled out of his planned Arizona Fall League assignment after meeting with the club's training staff.

Butler, the No. 2 prospect in the Rockies' system, arrived in Scottsdale, Ariz., Friday, set to pitch for the Salt River Rafters in an effort to regain pitching mechanics that had gone awry. But after a long year that included a stint on the disabled list with a rotator cuff strain and the pain at the end of the year, the plan was changed to a rest and rehab regimen at the Rockies' training center, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Bridich replaces O'Dowd as Rockies GM

Geivett, VP of Major League operations, also resigns

Bridich replaces O'Dowd as Rockies GM

DENVER -- Jeff Bridich, who has spent 10 seasons in the Rockies' front office, was promoted to general manager on Wednesday. Dan O'Dowd, the general manager since 1999 who in addition became chief baseball officer during the 2012 season, and Bill Geivett, who has been with the club since 2000 and became senior vice president of Major League operations in 2012, resigned.

"We are very fortunate to have an extremely bright, energetic and talented group of individuals currently within our own organization that are ready and eager to utilize their skills and experience," Rockies owner, chairman and CEO Dick Monfort said. "I know Jeff is anxious to begin working on the goal of putting a championship team on the field that the Rockies staff, our fans and our region deserve."

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Morneau to play for MLB All-Stars in Japan games

MLB All-Stars to participate in five games against national team in November

Two of baseball's top hitters and one of its brightest young stars have been added to the roster of Major Leaguers that will represent Major League Baseball in the Japan All-Star Series in November.

The league announced on Tuesday that American League batting champion Jose Altuve, National League batting champion Justin Morneau and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper were added to the roster, which already includes Robinson Cano, Adam Jones, Yasiel Puig and Albert Pujols.

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies hoping for more health, depth in 2015

Tulo, CarGo at full strength can help make Colorado a postseason contender

Rockies hoping for more health, depth in 2015

Days before the season ended, Rockies manager Walt Weiss thought back to those hopeful days of Spring Training, April and May. Back then, phrases like "if all goes right" and "barring injury" had not been rendered meaningless by misfortune and pain. With the season now over, Weiss is happy those caveats have meaning for 2015.

Yes, there are personnel areas that need to be improved for the Rockies' dreams of being a contender to come true. But soon, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez will go from names on the disabled list to flesh-and-blood -- and, yes, rehabbing -- stars. They may be subject to trade rumors, but more likely they'll be around in 2015.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Over its 23-year history, the Arizona Fall League has developed a reputation as a finishing school for baseball's top prospects. This year, once again, many of the game's best young players will gather in the desert, hoping to prove themselves in the same league that helped catapult Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedroia and Mike Trout to stardom.

When the AFL opens play Tuesday, the concentration of talent will again be readily apparent. Two of the three Opening Day games feature premium pitching matchups, and the third game is highlighted by two of the best shortstops in the Minor Leagues.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Injuries take their toll on Rockies in tough season

Club unable to rebound after multiple losses to lineup, rotation

Injuries take their toll on Rockies in tough season

The number of injuries, and the strangeness of some of them, are well-documented factors in a Rockies season that started promising, but descended into a fourth straight below-.500 season. But manager Walt Weiss realizes that much losing turns reasons into excuses in the eyes of fans.

"We've got to earn the benefit of the doubt around here," Weiss said. "The last couple years, finishing in last place, you don't get the benefit of the doubt. We've had a lot of injuries, obviously, but we tried not to focus too much on that."

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Morneau claims NL batting title with .319 average

First baseman clinches ninth title in Rockies' history, enters off bench in finale

Morneau claims NL batting title with .319 average

LOS ANGELES -- Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau began this year in a big-hitting lineup but ended it without his heavy-hitting friends. Still, he won his first National League batting title.

Morneau grounded out as a pinch-hitter in his only at-bat Sunday to finish with a .319 batting average. It is the ninth batting title in club history, by the seventh different player, and the Rockies' third in the last five years.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies unable to crash LA's party in finale

Morneau enters as pinch-hitter after clinching NL batting crown

Rockies unable to crash LA's party in finale

LOS ANGELES -- Four batters into the bottom of the first inning, Matt Kemp launched a two-run homer into the left-field stands at Dodger Stadium. For one final time in 2014 -- and too many times, frankly -- the Rockies were merely guests at someone else's party.

The National League West champion Dodgers slammed the Rockies, 10-5, to complete a season-ending three-game sweep. Although the Rockies avoided last place in the NL West after consecutive basement finishes, their 66-96 record is second worst in the club's 22-season history. Their 21-60 road mark was a franchise low, as were the 255 road runs.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Hawkins logs 1,000th career appearance

Hawkins logs 1,000th career appearance

LOS ANGELES -- Rockies right-hander LaTroy Hawkins has achieved a dependability that makes calling upon him routine. But Hawkins has fulfilled his routine so long and so well that the latest outing was a special occasion.

By retiring the only batter he faced on Saturday night's 6-5, 12-inning loss to the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Hawkins became the 16th pitcher in Major League history to appear in his 1,000th game. He is two games out of 15th place, held by Hall of Famer Goose Gossage.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Morales' wild pitch spoils Hawkins' milestone night

Paulsen forced extra innings with game-tying homer in ninth

Morales' wild pitch spoils Hawkins' milestone night

LOS ANGELES -- The Rockies nearly made a milestone night for relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins one to savor, but fellow reliever Franklin Morales' wildness in the 12th inning made it another loss -- 6-5 to the Dodgers in 11 innings.

After Hawkins forced a Darwin Barney fly ball to end the eighth and became the 16th pitcher in history to make 1,000 appearances, pinch-hitter Ben Paulsen tied the game with a first-pitch homer off Paco Rodriguez -- Paulsen's fourth homer of the season and second in as many nights -- to lead off the top of the ninth.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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LeMahieu to undergo MRI on knee sprain

LeMahieu to undergo MRI on knee sprain

LOS ANGELES -- Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu will undergo an MRI on Monday to assess the damage in his sprained left knee, the Rockies said Saturday.

Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said he does not believe the injury will require surgery, but the club has ordered an MRI to make sure. LeMahieu reported that he had difficulty walking because of pain.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Dickerson's season ends as he awaits first child

Outfielder enjoyed breakout campaign, hitting .312 with 24 HRs, 76 RBIs

Dickerson's season ends as he awaits first child

DENVER -- Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson will spend the final days of his breakout season at home with his wife, Beth Anne, who is due to have the couple's first child, the club announced Friday.

Dickerson spent all but a few early-season days in the Majors, beginning as a part-time player but earning full-time duty on his way to hitting .312 with 24 home runs in 131 games.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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NL batting leader Morneau powers up in defeat

Average at .319 after 2-for-3 night; Lyles loses steam in sixth

NL batting leader Morneau powers up in defeat

LOS ANGELES -- Not that the Rockies wanted it, but they witnessed Friday night how a playoff team finds ways to ignite when a game seemingly is going the wrong way.

National League batting leader Justin Morneau's two-run homer helped the Rockies to a lead after three innings and righty Jordan Lyles seemingly had the game under control. But the NL West champion Dodgers scored six sixth-inning runs and won, 7-4, at Dodger Stadium.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Doyle enjoys time as hitting coach despite road numbers

Doyle enjoys time as hitting coach despite road numbers

SAN DIEGO -- Rockies hitting coach Blake Doyle spent well more than an hour Wednesday making underhand tosses and exchanged pleasantries with Rafael Ynoa and Cristhian Adames, two recent callups he's getting to know, and he worked in some hit-and-run advice. When veteran Justin Morneau stepped into the cage and blasted liner after liner, Doyle told him, "Your swing is the best it's ever been."

Doyle worked with most of the hitters, sweating and smiling. At 60, Doyle is on a Major League coaching staff for the first time and loving it. The team's record and the stat sheet, which is full of ugly road numbers that must improve if the Rockies hope to contend next season, can't dampen his joy.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rockies lose challenge on out call at plate

Ruling stands as Crawford's strong throw keeps Ynoa from scoring

Rockies lose challenge on out call at plate

LOS ANGELES -- Rafael Ynoa was an infielder in the Dodgers' system from 2006-13 without ever making it to Dodger Stadium. Now a Major Leaguer with the Rockies, Ynoa had plenty of screen time Friday night.

The Rockies challenged a call in the seventh inning, when Dodgers catcher Drew Butera was ruled to have tagged out Ynoa at the plate after receiving a strong throw from left fielder Carl Crawford. Rockies manager Walt Weiss challenged the ruling, and after a replay review, the out call stood, which came with the Dodgers leading, 7-3.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Flande denied first big league win as offense struggles

Loss gives Rockies their worst road record in franchise history

Flande denied first big league win as offense struggles

SAN DIEGO -- The Rockies' road season was summed up best by Wilin Rosario's groundhog-ish Wednesday night. Rosario came up empty in scoring situations, twice with two out, in a 4-3 loss to the Padres at Petco Park. The defeat assured the Rockies of the worst road record in their history.

Rosario grounded into a fielder's choice with runners at first and second in the fourth. He popped to the shortstop, and Josh Rutledge flied solidly to center after him in the sixth. Finally, with runners at second and third with two down in the eighth, Rosario swung hopelessly at a Kevin Quackenbush curveball off the plate.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Catcher Williams undergoes knee surgery

Catcher Williams undergoes knee surgery

SAN DIEGO -- Rockies catcher Jackson Williams, who made his Major League debut this season and appeared in seven games, underwent surgery on his right meniscus Wednesday, the club announced.

Williams, who suffered the injury in a Sept. 19 game against the D-backs, hit .214 (3-for-14) with one home run and three RBIs.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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