The Rockies just announced that first baseman Todd Helton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left forearm inflammation. The 39-year-old hasn’t played since last Friday, so the Rockies didn’t want to go short-handed on their roster any longer.
Ryan Wheeler, who was acquired from the Diamondbacks over the winter in exchange for left-hander Matt Reynolds, has been called up to take Helton’s place on the roster and will offer depth at first base and the hot corner. The 24-year-old batted .239/.294/.339 with one home run, 10 RBI and a .634 OPS over 119 plate appearances as a rookie last season. He was hitting .348/.407/.565 with two home runs, 16 RBI and a .973 OPS over his first 15 games this season in Triple-A.
Some speculated that Tyler Colvin would get the call if Helton required a stint on the disabled list, but he’ll remain in Triple-A for now. The 27-year-old is hitting .309 (17-for-55) with four home runs, eight RBI and a .963 OPS over his first 15 games with the Sky Sox this season. He batted .290/.327/.531 with 18 home runs, 72 RBI and an .858 OPS in 136 games with the Rockies last year.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.