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Desmond returns from DL; CarGo scratched

Tapia optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque to clear roster spot
MLB.com

DENVER -- The Rockies reinforced their offense Monday, activating Ian Desmond from the 10-day disabled list. He was a late addition to the lineup, starting in the outfield as Colorado scratched Carlos Gonzalez with a sore left ankle a few minutes before first pitch of a 4-3 loss to the Tigers.

Desmond spent much of the past two months sidelined by right calf issues, injuring the muscle on July 2 and then aggravating it July 26. Since the initial injury, Desmond has played in just eight games.

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DENVER -- The Rockies reinforced their offense Monday, activating Ian Desmond from the 10-day disabled list. He was a late addition to the lineup, starting in the outfield as Colorado scratched Carlos Gonzalez with a sore left ankle a few minutes before first pitch of a 4-3 loss to the Tigers.

Desmond spent much of the past two months sidelined by right calf issues, injuring the muscle on July 2 and then aggravating it July 26. Since the initial injury, Desmond has played in just eight games.

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"Ian's a big part of our team. When he's active, we're getting closer to having our best 25 players," manager Bud Black said. "He feels good physically, and he feels good about making contributions here on out for the Rockies.

"He brings leadership, a veteran presence, intensity. Good on the field, good in the dugout, good in the clubhouse, so it's good to have him back."

The 31-year-old veteran also missed most of April after breaking his hand in Spring Training. In 65 games, Desmond is hitting .285/.328/.388 with five home runs, eight doubles and 32 RBIs.

Desmond was batting sixth in his first game back and went 2-for-4 with a run. He played three rehab games with Triple-A Albuquerque, playing first base, left field and shortstop.

"My calf feels good, it feels normal," Desmond said before the game. "It was good to go back out there and play, I missed playing."

Gonzalez said he's still hurting from fouling a ball off his foot in the Rockies' 3-0 win over the Royals on Sunday.

"I was getting ready, I was hitting in the cage, and that's when it started feeling really bad," Gonzalez said. "I was compensating, I played through it. This morning I wasn't feeling too good, but I got better."

Black did not rule out Desmond moving back to his old position. Trevor Story has struggled on offense this year, going .227/.310/.426 after a strong rookie campaign. Desmond hasn't played shortstop since 2015, however, and Story's defense has been solid.

"I expect [Desmond] to play, [but] it could change every night," Black said. "Prior to the lineup going up, Ian will know where he's playing. He'll know where he's playing."

Desmond is in the first year of a five-year, $70 million contract signed last December.

Worth noting
• The Rockies optioned rookie outfielder Raimel Tapia to Albuquerque to make room for Desmond. By rule, Tapia will have to spend at least 10 days off the MLB roster and won't be eligible to return when rosters expand or the Triple-A season ends.

Greg Holland is still the Rockies' closer, Black said, despite his recent struggles. Holland -- who pitched a perfect ninth inning Monday night -- was off Sunday because it would have been his fourth appearance in five days. Jake McGee pitched a perfect ninth in Sunday's 3-0 win over the Braves.

"Greg's our closer, he's working on a couple things within his pitching style that we think will benefit him moving forward," Black said. "I do know this, Greg was a big part of this, getting to where we want to be."

• Gonzalez said before Monday's game that he is excited to play against fellow Venezuela countryman Miguel Cabrera. The two have gotten to know each other during their time in the big leagues.

"I think it started a long time ago playing winter ball when we were young bucks playing against each other in Venezuela," Gonzalez said. "Just training together, seeing each other in the offseason, I think that's how it all started. ... Miggy's one of those guys I feel really close to."

• Outfielder Mike Tauchman and lefty Ryan Carpenter were named to the All-Pacific Coast League team for Albuquerque. Tauchman was hitting .328 with 16 homers and 78 RBIs, while Carpenter's 4.37 ERA ranks in the PCL's top 5.

• Class A Asheville infielder Tyler Nevin garnered Player of the Week honors for the South Atlantic League, going 15-for-30 last week. The Rockies' No. 17 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com, was hitting .307 on the year with six homers and 40 RBIs.

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies, Ian Desmond, Carlos Gonzalez, Raimel Tapia