DENVER -- When infielder and No. 4 prospectGarrett Hampson headed to Triple-A as the corresponding move to Matthew Holliday's (Holliday) call-up Thursday to the big leagues, the Rockies found themselves without a traditional shortstop to back up Trevor Story (Trev) on the 25-man roster.The Rockies aren't especially worried about the situation,
DENVER -- When infielder and No. 4 prospectGarrett Hampson headed to Triple-A as the corresponding move to Matthew Holliday's (Holliday) call-up Thursday to the big leagues, the Rockies found themselves without a traditional shortstop to back up Trevor Story (Trev) on the 25-man roster.
The Rockies aren't especially worried about the situation, in part because Story is the most dependable fixture in their daily lineup, having started 126 of the team's 127 games this season. He missed a game on July 7 with a sore right foot after being hit by a pitch the night before, ending Story's "Iron Man" streak of 139 consecutive starts at shortstop.
There's also the fact that first baseman Ian Desmond (Dez) was an All-Star shortstop for the Nationals before moving to the Rangers, where he became an All-Star outfielder, and subsequently moving to the Rockies to play first base.
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"If something happens in a game where Trevor has to exit we've got Nolan [Arenado] [Nado], we've got DJ [LeMahieu] [DJ], we've got Desmond, we've got those three guys," manager Bud Black said. "We've got [catcher] Tony Wolters [T-Dub], who was a shortstop at Rancho Buena Vista High School, the Longhorns, high draft pick of the Indians at shortstop. He can play short."
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Story is currently the only player on the Rockies' Major League roster to have played an inning of shortstop this season.
Desmond has played one game at short since 2015, playing 5 1/3 innings for the Rockies in 2017. Wolters played three games and a total of six innings at short in 2016, and LeMahieu played a total of four innings over four games -- an inning each -- from 2012-2014. Arenado has never fielded any position but third base in professional baseball, though he was a shortstop and catcher in high school.
It is a short-term issue for the Rockies, as expanded rosters in September could bring back the likes of Hampson, Pat Valaika (Barrels), and Daniel Castro as well as current Triple-A players such as No. 1 prospect Brendan Rogers, 21, and veteran Shawn O'Malley, 30, who has played 124 big league games for the Angels (2014) and Mariners (2015-2016), including 36 games at short.
Getting best of Lucchesi The Lefty
David Dahl's (Baby Dahl) fifth-inning home run off Joey Lucchesi (Joey Fuego) in Thursday's win over the Padres not only broke a scoreless tie, but it broke a season-long string of goose eggs for left-on-left homers against the southpaw.
"Lucchesi gave up 15 homers on the season [before Friday], and that was the first one he gave up to a left-hander," Black said. "Lefties hit him .250 and righties hit him .248, so pretty even splits, but all the homers came against the righties."
Dahl is a career .317 hitter (86-for-271) with 12 homers against right-handers and a .250 hitter (23-for-92) with two home runs vs. southpaws in the big leagues. His Triple-A numbers are similar, one homer against left-handers and eight against right-handers, though 2017 was an anomaly season for him, hitting Triple-A southpaws at a .286 clip while posting a .224 average against righties.
"The Minor League numbers tell us that it didn't really bother him," Black said. "From what I've seen of his at bats vs. left-handers this year, it doesn't seem to be a factor through his at-bats."
Books for Baseball
In an effort to help deliver the gift of reading to less fortunate children in the Denver area, 50 UPS Store locations are teaming up with the Colorado Rockies and EPIC (Executives Partnering to Invest in Children) to host a book drive to benefit the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.
Anybody dropping off new or gently used children's books or monetary donations at local UPS Store locations now thru Sept. 8 will receive two free tickets to one of two Rockies home games in September, while supplies last.
Fans can also drop off books and donations on Sept. 8 when the Rockies face the Dodgers at 6:10 p.m. MT. One-hundred percent of the books and funds collected at the game will be matched by The UPS Store and will benefit economically disadvantaged children in the Denver area.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver.