Every Tuesday, Denver Gazette Rockies beat writer Danielle Allentuck takes you around Major League Baseball:
-The Cardinals are nearing rock bottom. St. Louis is currently 11-24, the worst record in the National League.
-On the opposite end, the Rays are still nearly unstoppable. They are 28-7, by far the best record in MLB.
Let's catch up
-Yonathan Daza, who was designated for assignment Friday, was outrighted to Triple-A Albuquerque. His spot on the major league team became obsolete with Brenton Doyle promoted and Randal Grichuk off the injured list.
-Germán Márquez needs Tommy John surgery. One of the Rockies' most durable pitchers is out the remainder of the season and, with this being the last guaranteed year of his contract, may have pitched his last game in Rockies purple.
-Kris Bryant had his 1000th career hit Monday.
The key to the Rockies' jolt? Perhaps it's Mike Moustakas' coffee. The Moose brought a coffee maker to Coors Field and handed out cups of java to his teammates. Poof! A new win streak was born for the team. The Rockies have won six of their last seven.
Manager Bud Black is changing it up this year. He's sent out a different lineup in 35 of the Rockies' 36 games this year.
What's on tap
-The Rockies are in Pittsburgh through Wednesday for a three-game set against the Pirates. It should be a test to see how far the Rockies have come in the past two weeks. The Pirates swept them at home April 17-19, winning by a combined score of 33-9.
-The Rockies return home Friday for three vs. the Phillies followed by three vs. the Reds. Twelve of their next 18 are at Coors Field.
The Insider: Examining the Rockies catching situation
The Rockies optioned Brian Serven on Friday, swapping him out for veteran Austin Wynns.
At first glance, the move doesn't make a ton of sense. Wynns, 32, has already been designated for assignment by the Giants and Dodgers this season. His .188 batting average isn't much more impressive than Serven's .130. And with Díaz red-hot right now, does it matter who backs him up? They are only going to play once, maybe twice a week.
Here's the difference, though. Wynns has played in 188 major league games to Serven's 72. Yes, neither is going to play much. Therefore, Serven isn't going to get the necessary experience he needs up in the majors to improve his skills both behind and at the plate.
It makes sense to have Serven in Triple-A, where he can be the priority catcher, and have Wynns in the majors. Wynns likely isn't going to be with the team in the future, but Serven, if he keeps improving, could be. Plus, the Rockies' pitching staff is young — three starters have under two years of service time — and they can only benefit from having someone who's been in the game a bit longer calling the pitches.
There's also no longer a veteran in Albuquerque to pull from, as Grayson Greiner retired Sunday.
Now, this situation might be different if Willie MacIver wasn't injured. MacIver, who has been on the injured list all season with an injured shoulder, was expected to be the top catcher in Triple-A, next in line for the majors.
Let's be real, though. All of these moves are placeholders until Drew Romo is ready. He's going to take over the position as soon as he's ready. Whether Díaz is still there when that happens — his current contract ends after the 2024 season — remains to be seen. Romo is in Double-A, his catching skills are currently far ahead of his hitting skills. A switch-hitter, he's currently batting .194 with no home runs.
The Eastern League is hard to figure out for top prospects, and most, if not all, struggle at some point there. The Rockies have made it clear that all prospects need to master that level before they have a shot at the majors. Romo will likely be in the majors in 2024, at the earliest.
Hunter Goodman, also a top prospect in Double-A, was drafted as a catcher. The Rockies have moved him away from the position in recent years, and this year he has only played four games there. He's spent most of his time at first base, left field and designated hitter. His biggest asset is his bat, and they are going to want him in the lineup any way they can.
The list: Prospects who have stood out so far
Hunter Goodman: As mentioned earlier, Goodman is no longer seen as just a catcher. His bat is doing exactly what the Rockies want it to, and he already has eight home runs and 28 RBIs. I would not be surprised if he sneaks up as a late-season debut.
Jordan Beck: One of the Rockies' 2022 draft picks, Beck hit .440 with four home runs, 12 RBIs with an OPS of 1.444 last week with High-A Spokane. Yes, those numbers are real. He was the Northwest League Player of the Week.
Blake Adams: Selected in the 13th round of the 2022 draft, Adams has pitched to a 1.17 ERA in four starts with Low-A Fresno.
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