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Rockies activate Rincon from DL

Rockies activate Rincon from DL

DENVER -- A day after calling up two outfielders from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take the place of a disabled outfielder and an optioned relief pitcher, the Rockies balanced the books Wednesday, reinstating reliever Juan Rincon from the disabled list and designating outfielder Matt Murton off the Major League active roster in preparation for optioning him back to Colorado Springs, where he'd been a day earlier.

"You missed me," Murton said, jokingly, after some 24 hours on the Rockies roster. "You had a couple hours."

Murton provided extra assurance after center fielder Dexter Fowler was placed on the disabled list Tuesday and while left fielder Carlos Gonzalez continued to sit out while he recovers from a minor laceration to his left hand. With Tuesday's other outfield callup, Eric Young Jr., making his second start in center Wednesday and Gonzalez expected to be available Thursday, the Rockies sent Murton back and brought their bullpen back to capacity, with Rincon joining Matt Herges as potential long men.

"When we sent [Rincon] out and he began his rehab, part of the message was to stretch him out and involve him with up to 40 pitches," manager Jim Tracy said. "I know he's been up to 40 pitches or in that range a couple of times during the course of his rehab. You could certainly think if he had to throw another 10 in a game tonight or something like that, you're not running him beyond where he really needs to be because of prior use that you've had with him, so it puts us in a good position. "

Murton's quick trip to Coors Field left him eager for more. He'd been with the club from April 29 to June 4 and hit .267 during the stretch, but the veteran of four big league seasons with the Cubs and A's had increasing difficulty getting playing time with the emergence of rookies Fowler and Gonzalez. Murton hit .321 for the Sky Sox with 10 homers and 71 RBIs in 86 games.

"I had a lot of success early," Murton said of his summer with the Sky Sox. "I went through a few weeks when mentally it was getting a little hard, because I knew I was ready, but the opportunity wasn't there. I really feel like over the last week to 10 days down there I really started to play like I was capable of, hitting the ball the way I expect to. It's hard for the guy that's kind of been in and out, because you always know where you're capable of being and you want to be there helping the team win, but at the same time you're in another place for the time, and you've got to occupy that time, too. Really for me it's a matter of the next few days getting some quality at-bats and seeing what happens."

Murton has to go through a 48-hour procedural window to clear waivers, given his status as a player with three years or more on a big league roster, and he is hopeful that after finishing August with the Sky Sox he'll be back with the Rockies for the playoff push.

"I know I'm capable of competing at this level," Murton said. "I've done it in the past. I was a part of a [Cubs] club in 2007 that made a run for the pennant and actually won the division. I preface it with that because it's special to be around a team that has a chance to win a division, has a chance to make the playoffs. So when I found out that I had the opportunity to come back and play, I was really looking forward to relishing that opportunity to come in here. These guys have been playing great ball, and I want to try to do anything I can to add to what they have. I'm out of here now, but hopefully I'll be back in September."

Tracy also reported that Fowler, who is on crutches after fouling a ball of his knee In the 14th inning of Monday's win over the Giants, will be "non-weight-bearing" for the next couple days and would not accompany the team to San Francisco.

"They want to keep him very quiet and not doing a whole lot of moving around over the next few days, so he'll stay back," Tracy said. "Other than that, we're in pretty good shape."

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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