Rockies call up five to bolster roster depth

Rockies call up five to bolster roster depth

DENVER -- The Rockies added further depth with a second wave of September promotions, including three players who would be making their Major League debuts.

Colorado recalled right-handers Eddie Butler and German Marquez along with catcher Dustin Garneau, and the club selected the contracts of first baseman/outfielder Jordan Patterson and infielder Pat Valaika. Marquez, Patterson, and Valaika have yet to appear with the Rockies.

To make room for Patterson and Valaika on the 40-man roster, the Rockies designated first baseman Ben Paulsen and infielder Rafael Ynoa for assignment.

"These guys, they've earned this," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Not that there aren't some other guys that haven't, but you can only bring up so many guys, and this is certainly the most since I've been a manager. Guys have earned it. We feel like the guys we brought up can help us win games, and that's the bottom line."

Patterson joins a crowded group of left-handed-hitting outfielders that includes All-Stars Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon along with David Dahl and Raimel Tapia. However, Patterson has spent the last month playing first base for Triple-A Albuquerque.

Patterson, the team's No. 18 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, slashed .293/.376/.480 with 14 home runs and 10 steals this season. Additionally, he had 47 walks in 495 plate appearances (9.5 percent) after walking just 95 times over 1,322 plate appearances (7.2 percent) in his first three Minor League seasons.

"I've been evolving my approach and plan," Patterson said. "I'm swing at pitches that I want to swing at, and then not swinging at pitches I'm not good at hitting. At the beginning of the year, it was why my walk percentage went up."

Valaika adds to the team's middle-infield depth with just Daniel Descalso and Cristhian Adames on the active roster before his promotion. He hit .257 between Double-A Hartford and Triple-A, with 14 homers and 10 steals.

Butler and Marquez are starters by trade but will pitch out of the bullpen with an already-crowded six-man rotation. Butler had a 6.96 ERA in 12 games with the Rockies earlier in the season, while Marquez, the team's No. 6 prospect, had a 3.67 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A.

"In Marquez's case, we're going to try to get his feet on the ground by getting a couple innings out of the 'pen in a long-relief role," Weiss said. "That could evolve before the end of the season. Eddie, we've seen in that role. We've seen him as a starter in the Majors. That's an easy transition for him."

Garneau does not figure to get much playing time as the fourth catcher. He hit .233 in 60 at-bats in two stints with the team earlier in the season.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Rockies on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.