Murton makes his return
It appears outfielder Matt Murton finally gets what he deserves — a chance to stay in the Majors. All Murton has done is hit .324 with 27 doubles, 12 home runs and 79 RBIs at Triple-A Colorado Springs. At one point he set a Sky Sox record with a 29-game hit streak. But all that got him before now was two brief trips to the Majors.
Such is life when a team has a stacked outfield, the way the Rockies do. When the Rockies acquired him from the Athletics for infielder Cory Wimberly during the offseason, they figured part of Murton’s value was he had a Minor League option and could be sent up and down for roster purposes. That’s exactly what happened, even though Murton did well in Colorado Springs and decently in 22 games with the Rockies (.267, one home run, five doubles, six RBIs). But on Tuesday, Murton was one of four players from Colorado Springs to be called up for the final 24 games.
It’s not as if the Rockies are calling up Murton, infielder Mike McCoy and pitchers Matt Belisle and Jhoulys Chacin as rewards for a job well done. All could come into play in the final days. Murton had several big moments as a part-time player with the Cubs over the last several years. McCoy is valuable since starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is suffering from back spasms. With an expanded roster, having a couple of extra pitchers like Chacin — the team’s top prospect — and Bellisle around can’t hurt.
To keep the Major League roster below the 40-man limit, the Rockies made a couple of paperwork moves. By calling designating right-handed pitcher Adam Eaton for assignment and calling up infielder Chris Nelson but putting him on the 60-day disabled list, the club cleared the necessary spots so they could purchase the contracts of Belisle and McCoy.
For those interested, Murton (No. 14) and Chacin (45) will keep the same jersey numbers as they had in their earlier callups. McCoy will wear 18. Belisle returns wearing No. 34 after a trade with fellow righty reliever Matt Herges, who will wear 32.