Dahl building stamina for Major League grind

Rockies rookie has had trouble keeping weight on

Dahl building stamina for Major League grind

PHOENIX -- Slight left elbow soreness limited Rockies rookie David Dahl to one at-bat in three games going into Wednesday, another game he didn't start. But Dahl is generally proud of how he has held up through the most playing time of his career.

Dahl, 22, has hit .310 with six home runs, 17 extra-base hits and an .856 OPS in 46 games covering 171 at-bats since being promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque on June 25. Add his Major League time to that at Double-A Hartford and Albuquerque, and Dahl has appeared in 138 games. Because of injuries -- a hamstring issue in 2013, and a lacerated spleen sustained in an on-field collision and deep right knee contusion last season -- Dahl had never played in more than 119 games in a pro season.

"His professional career has been a little uneven because he's missed chunks of time here and there, so we're certainly paying attention to that," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

Dahl said maintaining weight and stamina has always been a challenge. It was even tougher at Hartford. Because the team's stadium could not be completed, it played every game on the road. That made rest and normal eating (for a baseball player) difficult. He did eat more regularly after being promoted to the Majors, but the activity is wearing on his frame.

"The last couple weeks I've lost some weight and the bat feels a little heavier, but it's just something I've got to get used to, especially if I'm going to play in the big leagues and play that long a season," said Dahl, who is around 6-3 and said he weighs 183 -- about 12 pounds lighter than where he wants to start 2017.

"I don't want to think too much about the weight," he said. "I just want to get stronger. I'm happy. I try to go out and help the team win any way I can. I try not to focus on results too much; just try to give good at-bats and stay within my approach."

Now he can relax 

Righty German Marquez, 21, settled into the Majors with two scoreless relief innings Tuesday night against the D-backs. It was a nice comeback after he gave up three runs on three hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings last Thursday at San Diego.

Marquez was added in September after a strong Minor League season that saw him go 11-6 with a 3.13 ERA and 155 strikeouts, against 154 hits, at Hartford (where he was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Year) and Albuquerque. Marquez has had little relief experience, so Tuesday was important for his confidence.

"Yesterday, I was a little more calmed down and I did what I had to do," said Marquez, a San Felix, Venezuela, native, who joined the Rockies last winter in a trade with the Rays. "Since that game, I worked hard on my confidence and my delivery. Last time I was a little quick with my delivery."

Marquez's relief appearances were well-spaced, and he prepared between the outings as if he's gearing up for a start. The Rockies are considering giving him a start before season's end, but haven't announced it.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.