DENVER – The Colorado Rockies announced today that the club has placed infielder Justin Morneau on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 14). In addition, the club has selected the contract of infielder Ben Paulsen from Triple-A and right-handed pitcher Jair Jurrjens was designated for assignment. Paulsen (#4) will be available for tonight’s Rockies vs. Nationals game at Coors Field (6:40 p.m. MDT).
Morneau, 33, has played in 89 games for the Rockies in his first year with the club before being placed on the disabled list with a neck strain. He has hit .312 (104-for-333) with 20 RBI, 2 triples, 13 home runs, 60 RBI and 38 runs and was a participant in this year’s Gillette’s Home Run Derby. His .312 average is fifth-best in the National League this year, while his 60 RBI are tied for fifth-most. The four-time All-Star signed a two-year deal, plus a mutual option for 2016, with the Rockies on December 13, 2013. In 12 professional seasons with Minnesota (2003-13), Pittsburgh (2013) and Colorado (2014), the 2008 American League Most Valuable Player has hit .280 (1442-for-5159) with 313 doubles, 18 triples, 234 home runs, 923 RBI and 713 runs in 1392 games.
Paulsen, 26, has spent the entire season to date with Triple-A Colorado Springs appearing in 95 games and hitting .291 (101-for-347) with 24 doubles, 6 triples, 15 home runs, 57 RBI and 62 runs. His play rewarded him as the lone Sky Sox representative in the Triple-A All-Star Game, where he went 1-for-2 with a RBI single as a defensive replacement at first base. His 62 runs are tied for third most among Pacific Coast League hitters, while his 24 home runs are tied for sixth. The 6-foot-4 left-handed hitting infielder will make his Major League debut in his first appearance. Out of Clemson University, Paulsen was a third round selection by Colorado in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft and has appeared in 648 career Minor League games while hitting .277 (682-for-2462) with 142 doubles, 33 triples, 78 home runs, 375 RBI and 346 runs.
Jurrjens, 28, made two starts for the Rockies going 0-1 with a 10.61 ERA (9.1 ip, 11 er) and 9 strikeouts after being acquired on July 2 from the Cincinnati Reds. He was optioned to the minors on July 9 where he made one start on July 19 at Memphis. The Rockies were Jair’s fourth Major League club after playing for the Tigers (2007), Braves (2008-12) and Orioles (2013). He has compiled a 53-38 record and a 3.72 ERA in 130 career MLB games.
The Rockies currently have a full 40-man roster.