In a similar fashion to his 2015 campaign, Dustin Garneau spent 2016 hopping between the majors and the minors, and unfortunately for the 29-year-old, the results were also similar. Garneau continued to flash his power in the minor leagues, swatting 15 home runs and posting an excellent .303 ISO with Triple-A Albuquerque, but he failed to bring those successes into the big leagues, as he hit only one home run and saw his ISO plunge to a meager .133 in 75 plate appearances with the Rockies. His strikeout rate also jumped. In fact, his 65 strikeouts between Triple-A and the majors were the most whiffs he put up since his second professional season. There's a good chance that Tom Murphy and defensive whiz Tony Wolters will split catching duties to start the year, likely leaving Garneau to continue riding the shuttle for much of 2017.
Garneau will likely open the year as the Rockies' backup catcher following news that Tom Murphy (forearm fracture) will be out for 4-to-6 weeks. Murphy should return in mid-to-late April, so Garneau will have at least a couple weeks of action against southpaws, but Tony Wolters figures to get almost all of the starts when the Rockies face a right-handed pitcher. Garneau has a career .222/.265/.289 slash line against lefties, and hardly qualifies as a short-term option in most formats.
Garneau is a long-shot to make the Opening Day roster for the Rockies, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Manager Bud Black stated that top prospect Tom Murphy and incumbent catcher Tony Wolters will enter the season with "shared duties" behind the plate, seemingly leaving Garneau out of the picture entirely. That being said, the 29-year-old is likely the next in line for major league innings if either Murphy or Wolters go down with an injury, although it will likely be in a backup role given his inability to hit major league pitching during two stints with Colorado.
Garneau was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday, the Denver Post's Nick Kosmider reports. He will serve as the Rockies' fourth catcher over the final month of the season, making him fairly useless in most fantasy formats. Garneau has a career .192/.259/.323 slash line with three home runs in 143 career big league plate appearances.
Garneau was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Garneau received the downgrade with Tony Wolters returning from the 7-day concussion list. Garneau's .200 average over his last 16 games didn't help his case to stay in the big leagues and he'll now head to Triple-A Albuquerque for the time being until Colorado needs additional catching depth.
Garneau is in the lineup and batting eighth for Thursday's game against the Pirates. Garneau, who is hitting .222/.283/.352 with one home run and five RBI through 17 games, will get another start for the Rockies behind the plate while Tony Wolters continues to recover from a concussion.