The Rockies badly need production at third base, which has been an offensive sinkhole. They recalled third baseman Ian Stewart from Triple-A Colorado Springs and placed Ty Wigginton, who has played third base, first base and left field, the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 27 with a left oblique strain.
Stewart, 26, was the Rockies' Opening Day third baseman for the third straight year but was optioned to Colorado Springs on April 19 after going 2-for-26 with 11 strikeouts and two infield hits, one a bunt, in 12 games. In 11 games for Colorado Springs, Stewart hit .361 (13-for-36) with three doubles, one triple, three homers and 13 RBI as well as 11 strikeouts.
The left-handed hitting Stewart was not in the lineup Tuesday at Arizona where left-hander Joe Saunders started for the Diamondbacks, but Stewart is likely to start the final two games of the series when right-handers Barry Enright and Ian Kennedy, a high school teammate of Stewart, start for the Diamondbacks.
When Saunders was replaced by right-hander Esmerling Vasquez in the seventh, Stewart made a pinch-hitting appearance in that inning. He came up with no out and a runner on first, the Rockies and Diamondbacks tied at 3, and took a third strike. The Diamondbacks won 4-3 when Justin Upton homered in the eighth off reliever Felipe Paulino.
Wigginton, whom the Rockies signed as a free agent in the offseason, is hitting .233 (14-for-60) with three doubles, two homers and 10 RBI in 20 games. He has started at first base (two games), third base (9) and left field (3).
Jose Lopez started at third base and went 0-for-4 and failed to hit the ball to the outfield. He's hitting .141 and with one walk in 78 at-bats, has a .163 on-base percentage. Lopez has one double and two homers, the last on April 10, and a .231 slugging percentage.
Stewart, Wigginton and Lopez have played third base and combined for some shockingly low output. Entering Monday's game, Rockies third basemen were hitting .134 (13-for-97) with a .190 on-base percentage and a .216 slugging percentage -- all figures that are by far the worst in the majors. Third basemen for the Rockies have hit two homers, one each by Lopez and Wigginton, and have 10 RBI.
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