GJ Rockies’ Josh Mueller called up to Modesto

Josh Mueller started the season in Modesto, Calif., the Colorado Rockies’ Class A Advanced affiliate. A shoulder impingement sent him to Grand Junction on a rehab assignment.

After going 2-3 for the Grand Junction Rockies at the Rookie level, the right-hander was promoted back to Modesto after Tuesday night’s game. Mueller threw in only two games at Modesto before injuring his pitching arm, going 1-0 with a 5.00 ERA.

He started six games for the Rockies with an 8.38 ERA, pitching 29 innings, allowing 42 hits and 30 runs. He walked eight and struck out 17. In his final start for Grand Junction, Saturday at Billings, Mueller threw 6 1/3 innings, picking up the victory. He allowed four runs on six hits, struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.

Grand Junction has not announced who will replace Mueller in the starting rotation, but manager Tony Diaz said earlier this season the plan was to have both Eddie Butler (2-1) and Ryan Warner (3-0) assume starting roles once their arms were ready. The two have been “piggy-backing” in the rotation, with Butler starting and Warner coming out of the bullpen.

Butler, the Rockies’ first-round Compensation pick out of Radford University, threw 5 1/3 shutout innings Tuesday, striking out seven, in a 6-0 win over Billings, with Raul Fernandez pitching in relief.

Warner, the Rockies’ third-round pick out of Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs, got the win at Missoula on July 12 in relief of Butler. He’s started only one game, June 26 against Orem at Suplizio Field, throwing three innings.

The Rockies (14-15) returned home Wednesday morning from their longest road trip of the season so far, going 4-3 in Montana. They open a seven-game homestand at 7:05 tonight at Suplizio Field, playing Missoula in the first game of a four-game series, followed by a three-game series July 23-25 against Billings. Matt Carasiti (1-1) is scheduled to start tonight for Grand Junction. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Grand Junction Rockies team photo poster.

With 11 games left in the first half of the season, the Rockies are tied with Orem for second place in the South Division of the Pioneer League, three games behind Ogden.

Helton to GJ? Grand Junction’s front office hasn’t been notified of any plans to send Todd Helton to the Western Slope for a rehab assignment. The Colorado Rockies’ first baseman, out with a hip injury, is eligible to come off the disabled list July 25, the final day of Grand Junction’s current homestand.

Helton told the Denver Post this week that a brief assignment with the Rookie affiliate is possible once his hip improves. Grand Junction General Manager Tim Ray said Wednesday his office would not get a call from Denver until a decision is made on whether Helton will rehab at Suplizio Field, but added his staff is on “red alert.”

In 2010, Helton played three games in Casper, the Rockies’ former Rookie team, when he was coming off an injury.


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