Rockies to call up Matt Holliday

Matt Holliday
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The Rockies didn’t make any big moves to bolster their offense at the trade deadline and, surprisingly, did not place a waiver claim on Daniel Murphy, allowing him to fall to the Cubs. They did, however, sign old friend Matt Holliday to a minor league deal at the end of July, and now, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports, they’re going to select his contract and call him up to the big club.

Holliday has had 62 plate appearances at Triple-A Albuquerque, putting up a line of .346/.452/.596 with three homers and four doubles. Not too shabby, even if it is a hitter’s park in a hitter’s league.

Holliday hasn’t appeared in the major leagues since last season, when he hit .231/.316/.432 with the Yankees. His best days, obviously, came with the Rockies back in the late 2000s when he hit a cumulative .319/.386/.552 with 128 home runs, a .938 OPS and 20.2 WAR in five seasons.

Holliday played some games in left field during his minor league assignment, but given his age and how large the Coors Field outfield is, you have to figure he’ll see more time at first base, where he saw action with the Yankees, as well as being given some pinch hitting duty.

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

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SAN DIEGO — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service.

There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies.

Song was picked from the Boston Red Sox system in the draft for unprotected minor league players. Philadelphia put him on the military list while he continues his active duty and he won’t count on the 40-man roster, the pool from which major league teams can select players for the 26-man active roster.

Song impressed in his only pro season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, with a 1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s mph, the right-hander dominated that year as a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, going 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings.

The Red Sox drafted Song in the fourth round – he likely would’ve gone much higher, but his impending military service caused teams to back off.

In November 2019, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a memo clearing the way for athletes at the nation’s military academies to delay their service commitments and play pro sports after graduation. Song’s request to have those new rules retroactively applied to his case was denied.

Song began school as a flight officer in the summer of 2020 and finished that phase last April. He started additional aviation training in May.

Song was among the 15 players, including three Boston pitchers, taken in the big league phase of the Rule 5 draft, which wasn’t held last year because of the MLB lockout.

Washington took righty Thad Ward from Boston’s Triple-A roster with the first pick. Baltimore took Red Sox minor league pitcher Andrew Politi with the ninth choice and the Phillies chose Song with the 11th selection.

Teams pay $100,000 to take players in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The players must stay on the big league roster next season or go on waivers and, if unclaimed, be offered back to their original organization for $50,000.