Blackmon Gets Unexpected Call To Colorado





DENVER—Charlie Blackmon was hoping to be called up in September. Instead, the Rockies brought him to the big leagues for the first time in early June—and not to play part-time.

Manager Jim Tracy put Blackmon in the lineup as part of an outfield shuffle. Center fielder Dexter Fowler went on the disabled list with a left abdominal strain. Carlos Gonzalez moved from left field to center. And Blackmon, whom the Rockies drafted in the second round in 2008 out of Georgia Tech, took over in left.

He began playing there about a week before his promotion, after mostly playing right field at Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he hit .337/.393/.572 in 243 at-bats.
Blackmon stole three bases without being caught while hitting safely in five of his first seven games in the big leagues.

"He's very composed," Tracy said. "He's very grounded. He's got a real good idea of what his skill set is and how it plays into the grand scheme of things. He plays his (butt) off from the first pitch of the game.

"Another thing I find very, very intriguing, he's got an edge to him that when the game starts, the body language and the facial expression basically suggest, 'Don't bother me right now.' And I love that."

To help Blackmon settle in, Tracy put him in the seventh spot in the lineup. But Tracy envisions Blackmon as a future leadoff hitter.

"He has an understanding of basestealing," Tracy said. "He has an idea of the strike zone. He's not afraid to be aggressive. He can run. He's got some power."

ROCKY ROADS

• In his final three starts before being named to pitch in the Texas League all-star game, Double-A Tulsa lefthander Christian Friedrich went 1-1, 2.29 with three walks and 19 strikeouts in 20 innings. Overall, he was 4-4, 4.29 with 18 walks and 53 strikeouts in 65 innings.

• Lower back soreness sidelined Tulsa shortstop Hector Gomez, who was hitting .205/.242/.381 in 215 at-bats.