DENVER -- The Rockies have asked infielder Rafael Ynoa to end his participation in the Dominican Winter League to avoid wear and tear before Spring Training, the club said Thursday.
The decision was met with disagreement in the Dominican, where Ynoa is 10th in the league in batting with a .293 average and 11th in on-base percentage (.366) for Aguilas. However, a Rockies spokesman said the team is making sure Ynoa is healthy enough to compete for the first Opening Day roster spot of his young Major League career.
The shutdown was first reported in a tweet from sports columnist and broadcaster Raquel Infante. She also tweeted that the club hopes the Rockies will allow Ynoa to participate in the Dominican playoffs, which are scheduled to begin Dec. 26.
During the regular season, Ynoa, 27, played in 134 games, including his first 19 big league games -- during which the switch-hitting Ynoa hit .343 with six doubles and a triple. Ynoa reached a career high in games played despite spending time on the Triple-A Colorado Springs disabled list with a left calf injury in April. The injury occurred in Spring Training and lingered until he was rested.
Ynoa played in the Dodgers' organization from 2006-13. After making the most of his first shot in the Majors with the Rockies, Ynoa is considered a candidate for a utility infield position.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.