MINNEAPOLIS -- After two productive days in the batting cage, Rockies shortstop Trevor Story is scheduled to join Triple-A Albuquerque on a rehab assignment, Rockies manager Bud Black said Thursday.
Story is on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to May 10) with a left shoulder strain. He tested the arm by taking ground balls and throws and swinging the bat Tuesday, and by hitting Wednesday and Thursday with hitting coach Duane Espy and assistant hitting coach Jeff Salazar.
Beyond merely reacquainting himself with game action, the rehab assignment should allow Story to test batting adjustments that could correct the problems that led to a strange beginning of the season. Story is hitting .180 with 48 strikeouts in 111 at-bats. But he made hard contact -- six home runs, 15 RBIs and six doubles -- and drew 17 walks, which going into Thursday was still tied with Mark Reynolds for the team lead.
"I know there were some little subtle things that he was working with Duane and Sally on, and he's going to take the Triple-A at-bats and get back into game mode," Black said.
• Thursday's doubleheader vs. the Twins leaves the Rockies needing a starter Monday in Philadelphia. One option would be to have either of the Thursday starters, German Marquez or Tyler Chatwood, throw on three days' rest. The more likely move would be to recall righty Jeff Hoffman from Albuquerque for his second start this season.
Hoffman, who held the Dodgers to three runs and fanned eight in 5 1/3 innings of a 10-7 victory last Thursday, would be on extended rest. On Tuesday for Albuquerque, he went five innings and held Memphis to one run and one hit with four strikeouts but four walks in a victory.
• Outfielder Raimel Tapia isn't flustered by his scant opportunities since being recalled from Albuquerque on Friday. He's made two plate appearances with one walk. Tapia had a .400 batting average through 25 games for Albuquerque when he received the call.
"It's more the mind and staying ready for every situation -- pinch-running, pinch-hitting, coming in to play late. Either way, I've got to be ready to help the team win," Tapia said in Spanish, with first-base coach Tony Diaz translating.
When Tapia does step into the box, the visual is a little odd. The scoreboard flashes .400 in the Minors but .000 (0-for-8) in the Majors going into Thursday.
"It's not really difficult; I know that I hit the ball hard, but right at people, and I've been through slow starts in Double-A and Triple-A," Tapia said. "I overcame them."
• The Rockies recalled righty reliever Carlos Estevez from Albuquerque as the allotted 26th player for Thursday's second game vs. the Twins. Estevez was 3-0 with a 7.94 ERA in 13 games before being sent down on May 3 to hone his delivery. He gave up no runs, struck out six and gave up three hits and no walks in 5 2/3 innings at Albuquerque over five appearances.