Rockies send Ian Stewart back down to make room for Ty Wigginton

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Six at-bats later, he’s gone.

Ian Stewart was demoted back to Triple-A Colorado Springs for the second time this year Friday, opening up a spot for the returning Ty Wigginton.

Manager Jim Tracy said after last Sunday’s game that Stewart was “either going to play his way in or play his way off the team.”

Stewart, though, was given just six more at-bats afterwards.  Granted, he was 0-for-6 in that span, leaving him with a ridiculous .064 average in 47 at-bats.  Still, if the idea was to challenge Stewart, maybe he deserved more than two games, with all of his at-bats coming in front of the pitcher, to respond?

One wonders if Stewart has now made his last out for the Rockies.  While he put up solid overall numbers in his first 2 1/2 seasons (he hit .246/.334/.458 with 53 homers and 172 RBI in 1,077 at-bats from 2008-10), he failed to meet the team’s high expectations offensively or defensively.

Given that Tracy has always favored high-average hitters and that’s simply not Stewart’s game, a trade might be in everyone’s best interests.  The Rockies might be selling low, but given the number of third basemen hurt throughout the NL, there should be some team out there willing to give up a legitimate prospect for him.  Stewart is just 26, he hits lefties better than most left-handed hitters and he’s not a Coors Field creation (his 751 road OPS is just 20 points lower than his home mark).

The Rockies, meanwhile, will go it with Wigginton and Jose Lopez.  Ideally, Lopez would stop floundering one of these weeks, because he’s the vastly superior defender.  However, he’s barely above Stewart territory with a .155/.174/.238 line in 84 at-bats.  For that reason, Wigginton figures to get a chance to secure the job if he comes back strong after 16 days with a strained oblique.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.

Matt Boyd earns No. 5 spot in Tigers’ starting rotation

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Matt Boyd has earned the No. 5 spot in the Tigers’ starting rotation, which means veteran Anibal Sanchez will pitch out of the bullpen, MLB.com’s Jason Beck reported on Wednesday.

Boyd, 26, pitched well this spring, compiling a 2.49 ERA with a 21/0 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings. The lefty’s numbers in the majors last year weren’t nearly as good.

Sanchez, 33, is coming off of the worst season of his career and overall didn’t have a great spring, putting up a 5.03 ERA with a 20/4 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings. He came on strong at the end, however, tossing 14 consecutive scoreless innings. Manager Brad Ausmus didn’t rule out the possibility of Sanchez returning to the rotation at some point.