Rockies to put Dexter Fowler on DL, call up Charlie Blackmon

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No official move yet, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies will place center fielder Dexter Fowler on the disabled list with a sore abdomen and call up Charlie Blackmon from Triple-A.

Blackmon may get a chance to replace Fowler in center field, but he’s played primarily right field this season after being an everyday center fielder at Single-A and Double-A. Colorado could shift Carlos Gonzalez from left field to center field, where he started 55 times last year.

After producing solid numbers in the lower minors Blackmon has hit .337 with 10 homers and a .965 OPS in 58 games in the hitter-friendly environment at Colorado Springs. Fowler has taken a step backward offensively for the second straight season, hitting just .238 with a .688 OPS while being thrown out on six of eight steal attempts.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?