DENVER -- Rockies outfielder David Dahl declined to be frustrated over another trip to ... “Is it injured list now?”
But he insists the only reason he is on the 10-day list (retroactive to Monday) with the left-side core injury is the team just couldn’t afford to go a player short for the five days or so that it’ll take him to recover. So Yonathan Daza, the Rockies’ 15th-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, came up from Triple-A Albuquerque to serve as leadoff man and right fielder Tuesday night against the Braves.
Dahl grabbed his left side after striking out Sunday in the first inning against the Dodgers and later left that game.
“Really, it just felt kind of like it cramped up,” said Dahl, 25, who has batted .343 (12-for-35) with four runs, two doubles, one triple, two home runs, six RBIs and three walks in 10 games for the Rockies this season. “I kind of grabbed it, tried to work on it, but it didn’t loosen up. I’m not really worried about it right now.”
Dahl, famously, had a ruptured spleen when he collided with a teammate in Double-A in 2015. After arriving in the Majors in '16, he missed all of '17 with a rib cage injury, and last year he missed 54 games in June, July and early August with a fractured right foot. Dahl smiled and insisted this injury is not part of the “oft-injured David Dahl” narrative.
“I don’t even consider this an injury – I just call it a tweak that I just need a couple days,” Dahl said.
Placed on the 10-day injured list since the start of the season are first baseman Daniel Murphy with a fractured left index finger, left-handed pitcher Jake McGee with a left knee sprain, infielder Ryan McMahon with a left elbow sprain and left-handed starting pitcher Tyler Anderson with left knee inflammation.
The season started with righty starter Antonio Senzatela (blister infection, right knee) and lefty reliever Chris Rusin (mid-back strain) on the injured list.
The sign says ‘Get to Denver’
Daza said creative Albuquerque manager Glenallen Hill sat him out of Monday’s game, then called him into the office under the guise of fining him for missing signs. So he offered to test Daza -- $5 fine for each missed sign -- and sped through some intentionally unfamiliar signals.
Then Hill gave Daza an actual sign, slowly.
“He said, ‘What is that?’ I said, ‘Bunt,’” Daza recalled. “He said, ‘Now that you know the signs, you’re going to the big leagues.’”
Daza, 25, a line-drive hitter with speed, batted .341 and stole 31 bases at Class A Lancaster in 2017, and hit .306 last year at Double-A Hartford, but was limited to 54 games because of left hamstring and left shoulder injuries. This spring, Daza hit .167 and struck out five times in 24 Cactus League at-bats but made a mark defensively.
Daza said his mother in Maracay, Venezuela, burst into tears upon hearing the news, but told him to use his talents and try to stick.
“It’s fast, honestly; I just played four games in Triple-A,” said Daza, who was 5-for-18 with a double, and 2-for-2 on steal attempts. “But I’ve got good communication with the coaches, and [assistant hitting coach Jeff] Salazar, in Spring Training, said to me, ‘Now, you are a big leaguer. You need to believe that.’”
Hoffman scheduled to start Wednesday
Denver is expected to be hit with snow and rain Wednesday, but right-hander Jeff Hoffman hopes it arrives in the evening. Manager Bud Black announced that Hoffman will be called up from Albuquerque to start Wednesday’s series finale with the Braves.
Upon being optioned toward the end of Spring Training, Hoffman said Black and the staff emphasized preventing innings from spinning out of control. His first start at Albuquerque? Hoffman gave up four runs on six hits, four walks and two hit batsmen in a loss to Salt Lake.
“The big thing that I like to do when those kind of outings happen is not put too much into it, either way, and assess the outing and really come out of it knowing I’m the same guy – not really living or dying on a good or a bad outing,” Hoffman said. “I went out after that, threw a really good side and I feel really good.”
Anderson has knee drained
Black said doctors drained fluid from the sprained left knee of Anderson, whose absence is the reason Hoffman is set to take his rotation spot. Anderson said the knee is “getting a lot better -- really it was pretty swollen, pretty stiff, and we’re doing everything we can to get it out of there.”