The Rockies have been busy making changes. Before they lost 4-3 to the Cardinals on Sunday, their ninth loss in the past 12 games, they made another move, recalling infielder Chris Nelson from Class AAA Colorado Springs and designating infielder Alfredo Amezaga for assignment.
Nelson, a first-round pick by the Rockies in 2004, made his major league debut last season and played 17 games during three stints with the team. Nelson, 25, is best remembered for stealing home in the eighth inning with what proved to be the winning run against the Reds on Sept. 6.
When closer Huston Street greeted Nelson with a hug, he asked him, "How many times are you going to steal home this year? Two or three?"
This season at Colorado Springs, Nelson played primarily shortstop -- 40 games at short, eight at second base and four at third. He was hitting .315 with a .346 on-base percentage, a .503 slugging percentage, five homers and 40 RBI in 49 games.
Nelson will upgrade the Rockies' right-handed-hitting corps of pinch hitters. He gives the Rockies another option at third base, now that they have designated Jose Lopez for assignment, and he can provide some extra-base power at that offensive position, which has been non-productive, when he spells Ty Wigginton. Nelson is also athletic enough to back up at second base and shortstop.
Manager Jim Tracy said that physically, Nelson "looks as good as I've ever seen him since I first laid eyes on him in 2009."
Amezaga joined the Rockies on April 29 after beginning the season at Colorado Springs. He hit .242 with two RBI in 20 big-league games, including seven starts, playing at second base, shortstop, third base and right field.
Manager Jim Tracy said if Amezaga is not claimed by another club, he has agreed to return to Colorado Springs.
Amezaga underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee during the 2009 season and missed virtually all of 2010. He was former a plus runner but isn't running as well as he once did.
"I know there's another gear he's got," Tracy said, "and he needs additional playing time to be able to find it."
The Rockies now have six players on their 25-man roster who began the season in the minors. In addition to Nelson, infielder/outfielder Eric Young Jr. and right-handers Matt Daley, Clayton Mortensen and Greg Reynolds opened the year at Colorado Springs. Right-hander Juan Nicasio started the season at Class AA Tulsa.
Dating back to May 19, the Rockies have traded left-hander Franklin Morales, traded right-hander Felipe Paulino and designated infielder Jose Lopez for assignment. They have also lost lefty Jorge De La Rosa to a season-ending elbow injury.
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