Rockies demote key asset in Nolan Arenado trade to minors

Apr 24, 2023, 12:47 PM | Updated: 1:06 pm

Elehuris Montero...

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

It might not be the change Rockies fans truly wanted. But one player struggling in the Rockies’ 6-17 start received his demotion notice Monday.

The Rockies optioned infielder Elehuris Montero to AAA Albuquerque, calling up outfielder Brenton Doyle to take his spot. Doyle, the No. 16 prospect in the organization according to the MLB Pipeline rankings, started the season on a tear with Albuquerque, posting a .306/.434/.633 slash line and 1.037 WHIP over 49 at-bats and 57 total plate appearances to date.

Doyle, a fourth-round pick in 2019, started last season at High-A Spokane, rising through AA Hartford to reach the Isotopes last September.

Montero didn’t tear it up at the plate early in this season — he has a slash line of .255/.296/.373 — but his major issues came in the field.

He is in an 8-way tie for the MLB lead among third basemen with three errors, but with just 20 total chances, his fielding percentage of .850 is dead last among 36 players with 20 or more total chances.

Montero had two errors in 14-3 loss to Pittsburgh on April 17. He didn’t play the hot corner again after that, working only as a pinch hitter or designated hitter.

Meanwhile, the Rockies’ haul from the Nolan Arenado trade continues to underwhelm. After joining the Rockies organization as one of four players acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals two years ago, Montero made a rapid rise through the Rockies’ ranks. He split the 2021 season between AA and AAA, then started last year in Albuquerque before earning promotion.

Beyond Montero, here’s how the other four players acquired by the Rockies are faring:

  • IF Mateo Gil: Left unprotected for the Rule 5 draft last year, selected by Mets, has .440 OPS at AA Binghamton
  • P Austin Gomber: Has 12.12 ERA, 2.14 WHIP and 7.49 FIP in four starts for Rockies — all losses
  • P Tony Locey: Traded to the Rays on March 28 for a player to be named later or cash. Advanced to AA Hartford in Rockies system last year, where he had 12.11 ERA and a 2.47 WHIP in 14 appearances
  • P Jake Sommers: Continues to recover from elbow injury; hasn’t pitched in a game since 2021 at High-A Spokane

And the beat goes on.

But one bit of good news for the Rockies is that Kris Bryant remains on the active roster. Bryant did not play Sunday and is “day-to-day” with an injury to the SI joint in his pelvis. That caused back pain that led manager Bud Black to remove Bryant in the third inning Saturday at Philadelphia.



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