19/10/2018

Rockies call up catcher Tom Murphy, option outfielder Mike Tauchman to Triple-A as Colorado looks for help at the bottom of the order

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Rockies call up catcher Tom Murphy, option outfielder Mike Tauchman to Triple-A as Colorado looks for help at the bottom of the order

Catcher Tom Murphy, who's been hitting well at Triple-A Albuquerque is finally getting another shot with the Rockies.

Catcher Tom Murphy, who's been hitting well at Triple-A Albuquerque is finally getting another shot with the Rockies.

Catcher Tom Murphy, who’s been hitting well at Triple-A Albuquerque, is finally getting another shot with the Rockies.

Ahead of the start of a six-game road trip in Philadelphia on Tuesday, the club announced it has recalled him from the Isotopes and optioned outfielder Mike Tauchman back down to Triple-A. Murphy is set to start and hit eighth.

Murphy, 27, will be making his first stint on the Rockies’ roster this season. In 49 games at Triple-A, he was batting .289 (54-for-187) with 34 runs, 14 doubles, two triples, 16 home runs and 45 RBI. His 16 homers rank second in the Pacific Coast League.

“(My success) this year was about staying focused on where I was at,” Murphy said. “A lot of people can overlook the Triple-A level because they want to be in the big leagues, and take it for granted. Then all of a sudden you have a slow start and you’re trying to make up for lost time.

“That’s not the approach I took this year — I went in there confident, I went in there aggressive.”

In 44 career big-league games (2015-17), he’s batted .214 with 14 runs, four doubles, eight homers and 23 RBI. He was a third-round pick by the Rockies in the 2012 MLB Draft after playing at the University at Buffalo.

Tauchman, 27, has batted 2-for-9 with three runs, one double and one walk across six games (one start) since being recalled on June 5. In two stints with the Rockies this season, he’s batted .094 (3-for-32) with five runs, one double and four walks in 21 games.

With Murphy’s promotion, the Rockies now carry three catchers along with veteran Chris Iannetta (.230) and the third-year Tony Wolters (.161). Manager Bud Black said Colorado will plan on having three catchers for the time being as the team tries “to find the right combination of 25 guys to help us win.”

Black noted having Iannetta’s bat off the bench — and knowing he can use him as a pinch hitter without worrying about an injury to the starter — is helpful when he’s not catching. Also, Wolter’s defensive flexibility in the infield gives Black options with a trio of receivers that Murphy says are all bought into the overall objective.

“The whole goal as a team is to win, regardless of who’s behind the plate,” Murphy said. “So when you take it that way, you realize there’s no room for any head-butting or anything like that. We’re here to work together.”

A big focus for Murphy in his time with the Isotopes this season has been his defense, which Black said improved noticeably, as the Rockies also look to the right-hander to inject a spark into the lineup.

“He knows these pitchers, so the game-calling aspect should be no problem with Tom,” Black said. “He plays with a high degree of energy, he’s got power as evidenced by his 16 homers already in Albuquerque, and even two years ago when he came up he hit five homers in a relatively short period of time. So hopefully, he puts the bat to the ball with some damage to it at the bottom of the order where we need some help.”

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