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He’s not Joshing around.
On the official scorecard and on the scoreboard, over the public address system at the ballpark, and on TV and radio broadcasts, Josh Fuentes is now, officially, Joshua Fuentes.
Let the Rockies’ effervescent infielder explain.
“When I cut my hair … I just wanted to be formal: Joshua Luis Fuentes,” he said Wednesday. “And then I hit a homer that day, so of course, I gotta stick with it, so I’m Joshua.”
Fuentes’ haircut-induced homer came in the second game of a doubleheader May 12, a game in which he also drove in the winning run in Colorado’s 3-2 win over San Diego. Since the haircut and name change, Fuentes had slashed .409/.435/.773 with two home runs, eight doubles, one triple and 15 RBIs.
The switch to Mr. Fuentes’ more formal name caught manager Bud Black off guard.
“It kind of caught me by surprise when I heard it over the loudspeaker at our park,” Black said. “I turned to Red (bench coach Mike Redman), a couple of the coaches, and I think it was (Garrett) Hampson, and I said, ‘What have we got here, is this a name change? I’m going to ask him about it today. I’m going to get to the bottom of it.’”
Fuentes’ teammates are unlikely to begin calling him Joshua — unless it’s in jest. They’ll continue to call him “Fuent” or “D.J. Fuente.”
“A lot of guys call him ‘D.J. Fuent’ because he’s our resident disc jockey in charge of the music in the clubhouse most of the time,” Black said.
Postponed. The Rockies vs. New York Mets game scheduled for Wednesday night at Citi Field was postponed due to inclement weather.
It was rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Thursday, with the first game scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. (MDT). The second game of the doubleheader will start approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
The Rockies (19-30) will start right-hander German Marquez in Game 1 against Mets right-hander Marcus Stroman. In the second game, Colorado will start right-hander Antonio Senzatela and the Mets (22-20) will pitch lefty Joey Lucchesi.
Closing time. Right-hander Daniel Bard remains the Rockies’ closer “for now,” but Black was impressed by the job right-hander Carlos Estevez did in saving the Rockies’ 3-2 win over the Mets on Monday night. Estevez, consistently throwing in the upper-90s, struck out two and left the tying run at second base.
“He’s had just a couple of outings since coming back from a (tendon injury) to his finger, but I really like the way he was throwing prior to that,” Black said. “Potentially he could be the guy. I don’t think we’re going to juggle them, per se. In a perfect world, if they’re both rested and ready to go, Daniel, as of now would be the preferred choice to pitch the ninth inning.”
Bard is 5-for-8 in save opportunities and has a 5.00 ERA. In his past seven games, Estévez has given up just one unearned run, limited opponents to a .148 batting average, struck out nine and walked none.
Story’s cause. Rockies all-star shortstop Trevor Story and Toronto Blue Jays all-star outfielder George Springs have teamed up to donate $150,000 to create scholarships for Black amateur baseball players and underprivileged youth athletes.
Their organization, the Perfect Game Cares Foundation, will be matched and lead to nearly $300,000 worth of scholarships and services. According to a news release, “the funds will go directly towards creating programs that will combat the systemic barriers that many Black youth athletes and underprivileged youth face.”
Springer and Story joined forces to ensure that more athletes of color and underprivileged youth, in general, get the financial assistance they need to attend high-profile amateur baseball tournaments.
Injury updates. Lefty reliever Ben Bowden (strained shoulder) will pitch Thursday for Triple-A Albuquerque at Sugarland, Texas. It will be Bowden’s first rehab game. … First baseman Matt Adams, on the injured list with a shin contusion, played in a Triple-A game Tuesday. Black said Adams is 100% and will play through the weekend with the Isotopes. At that point, the Rockies will make a decision on whether or not to add Adams to their 26-man roster.
Rockies RHP German Marquez (3-4, 4.82 ERA) at Mets RHP Marcus Stroman (3-4, 2.75)
Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (1-4, 5.01 ERA) at Mets LHP Joey Lucchesi (1-3, 7.32)
10:10 a.m. Thursday, Citi Field (Game 2 begins 30 minutes after completion of Game 1)
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM
Marquez will make his 11th start of the season after arguably his best outing thus far. The right-hander tossed seven shutout innings on May 21 vs. Arizona and matched a season-high with eight strikeouts. Marquez has five quality starts this season. He faced the Mets earlier this year and earned a win with two earned runs over seven innings. Marquez, however, leads the MLB with 30 walks. Stroman also touts five quality starts this year. He ranks fifth in the majors and third in the NL with a 54.3 ground-ball percentage. Stroman has allowed just eight extra-base hits over 52.2 innings, the second-lowest rate in the MLB (minimum 50 innings).
Senzatela turned in one of his best outings of the season against the Mets on April 18 at Coors Field, holding the Mets to two runs (one earned) over six innings. The right-hander, who’s making his 10th start of the season, is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA in four career games (three starts) against New York. Like all of his fellow Rockies starters, Senzatela has been better at home (1-3, 4.35 ERA, seven starts) than on the road (0-1, 8.59 ERA, two starts). Lucchesi, who’s struggled this season, is coming off his best outing. He struck out eight Miami hitters and allowed just one hit over four innings. Lucchesi, however, was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the top of the fifth after throwing just 43 pitches. He had been working out of the bullpen and was not built up to go much deeper into the game.
Trending: Colorado’s rotation had 21 quality starts, tied for the sixth-most in the majors. They had six quality starts in their last eight outings.
At issue: The Rockies struck out 16 times Tuesday night, their third-highest total of the season. They have fanned 10 or more times in 20 games this season and are 5-15 in those games.
Friday: Rockies RHP Jon Gray (4-4, 3.59) at Pirates RHP Mitch Keller (2-6, 7.41), 4:35 p.m., ATTRM
Saturday: Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (3-4, 4.56) at Pirates RHP JT Brubaker (3-4, 4.20), 2:05 p.m., ATTRM