Rockies designate Iannetta, call up Nunez

August 14th, 2019

DENVER -- As expected, the Rockies parted ways with veteran catcher , their career leader in games played at his position (820) and games started (579), on Tuesday before Colorado's game against the D-backs. Iannetta was designated for assignment and catching prospect Dom Nunez was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque.

"What a great Rockie," manager Bud Black said of Iannetta. "When I was in the other dugout watching him come up as a young player, I liked what I saw, and that continued through his stay in the big leagues, and even coming back last year to be part of our playoff team. He was very instrumental with helping the pitching staff with veteran presence.

"I'm really proud of what he brought to our club, and we told him that [Monday] night. Moving forward, we felt where Chris was this season and potentially what we have going forward these last seven weeks, it was time to see what Dom can do here."

The Rockies also recalled right-hander Jeff Hoffman from Triple-A and optioned Chi Chi Gonzalez to Albuquerque. Hoffman was named Tuesday's starter when Jon Gray was pushed back due to left ankle soreness.

Iannetta, 36, is batting .222 over 52 games while sharing the catching with Tony Wolters. Iannetta is at the tail end of a two-year, $8.5 million contract. Last season, Iannetta appeared in 110 games and he batted .224 with 11 home runs as the primary catcher on a Rockies team that made its second straight postseason appearance.

Wolters is batting .286 with a home run and 30 RBIs, and with 88 games has emerged as Colorado’s main catcher.

"Chris is part of this family," Wolters said. "He's my brother, and he's still going to be the guy who gives me a lot of good information. He taught me the importance of passion and hard work. ... I love that guy.

"He was always there, on my shoulder, being positive. He was like another dad to me, and he was always in my corner. He has zero ego, and he's a big teddy bear who's been playing a long time and has a lot of information. I don't think his career's done."

Veteran outfielder Charlie Blackmon said Iannetta "did a really good job of dealing with the emotions of the game. He was a consistent person emotionally -- he didn't get incredibly upset when things didn't go his way, and he didn't get overly excited when things did go his way. That made you feel he was always in control of what he was thinking and doing out there, and that rubbed off on everyone else.”

It was the second go-round with the Rockies for Iannetta, a fourth-round pick in the 2004 MLB Draft, who began his Major League career with the club in 2006.

Nunez, 24, was drafted as an infielder in 2013 out of Elk Grove (Calif.) High School and he was converted to catcher a year later. In his first Triple-A season, Nunez is batting .244 with 17 home runs, 42 RBIs and a career-best .921 OPS.