Rockies said to be sending Iannetta down

Rockies said to be sending Iannetta down

DENVER -- The Rockies are sending struggling catcher Chris Iannetta to Triple-A Colorado Springs and will add veteran backstop Paul Phillips, sources told MLB.com on Monday.

Team officials declined to comment on the move, but it is expected to be announced Tuesday.

In addition, the Rockies will promote top pitching prospect Jhoulys Chacin and veteran reliever Juan Rincon from Colorado Springs to beef up their suddenly hobbled pitching staff. Two rotation spots are opening, with lefty Jorge De La Rosa headed to the disabled list with a torn tendon band in his left middle finger and righty Jason Hammel having suffered a strained right groin.

Within days, the Rockies will call up right-handed prospect Esmil Rogers to fill one of the rotation spots, according to the sources.

Iannetta, who signed a three-year, $8.3 million contract during the winter, hit .133 through nine games and took a backseat to Miguel Olivo, who has hit .317 with a team-high five home runs in 10 games.

Phillips, 33, hit .311 in 17 games last season when the Rockies were dealing with injuries behind the plate.

De La Rosa (3-1, 3.91 ERA in four starts) has gone 19-4 since last June 5 and has the most wins in the Majors over that span. He suffered his injury while beating the Marlins on Sunday and hasn't officially been placed on the DL, but Rockies manager Jim Tracy said after Monday night's 5-3 loss to the D-backs that he expects De La Rosa to miss a considerable amount of time.

Hammel left Monday after three innings because of his injury. The Rockies had not announced his DL placement, either, but had made the call to Colorado Springs for help.

Chacin, 22, is 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in four starts at Colorado Springs, and he has 21 strikeouts and 11 walks in 21 1/3 innings.

Rincon, 31, is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in eight games, and has seven strikeouts and seven walks in 7 1/3 innings of relief.

Rogers, 24, began the season on the Major League squad as a long reliever and posted a 2.25 ERA in three appearances, covering four innings, before being sent down on April 16, when the club activated veteran left-hander Joe Beimel. Rogers has an 0.90 ERA in two starts, with seven strikeouts and one walk in 10 innings at Colorado Springs.

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