Rockies call up Valaika, reinstate Parra

Carle, Tapia optioned to Triple-A in corresponding moves

Rockies call up Valaika, reinstate Parra

LOS ANGELES -- The Rockies made a couple of roster moves prior to Tuesday night's game against the Dodgers, one very expected and one less so.

Outfielder Gerardo Parra was reinstated from paternity leave as anticipated, but also added to the roster was infielder Pat Valaika.

To make room for the two, the Rockies sent right-hander Shane Carle and outfielder Raimel Tapia to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Valaika can play all over the infield, but his primary position is shortstop. Which is where Trevor Story has gotten off to a rough start, batting .114 with 20 strikeouts in 44 at-bats. Rockies manager Bud Black said he initially plans to use Valaika (.261, 11 RBIs at Albuquerque) off the bench.

"He's swinging the bat well," Black said. "He had a good spring for us. We really liked what we saw from Pat.

"This week of games coming up -- particularly with the two left-handed starters tonight (Hyun-Jin Ryu) and tomorrow (Clayton Kershaw) and Matt Moore on the weekend -- it's nice to have a right-handed bat on the bench."

Valaika's stop, throw nabs Hill

Valaika was a September callup last season and hit .263 with a homer in 19 at-bats.

Black said he did not expect to start him in the two-game series against the Dodgers, but it was possible he could start a game in the weekend series in San Francisco.

And apparently it would most likely be at shortstop.

"That's where he's most comfortable, so that makes me comfortable," Black said. "But we saw him enough at third and second, and a little bit at first, that we're comfortable with Pat."

Valaika, 24, grew up in the Los Angeles area and once participated in a home run hitting contest at Dodger Stadium as a 10-year-old.

"We hit off a tee," Valaika said. "I thought it was the coolest."

Valaika said he was ready to play any position and any role.

"I'm ready to do whatever they need to help them win," he said. "We have great guys at every position. I'll just try to be ready to play anywhere."

Worth noting

• After hitting just .087 in his first six games, second baseman DJ LeMahieu has batted .444 in his last eight games, looking a lot more like the defending National League batting champion.

"It was just a matter of time for him," Black said. "His swing and how he conducts an at-bat allow him an opportunity to get hits often. He uses the whole field. He gets ground balls and line drives the other way. He can pull the ball. He can hit the ball in the gap. He has power. So just his style of hitting sets him up for success."

LeMahieu's solo homer

• Parra returned after missing four games while on paternity leave. He was hitting .343 with a home run and six RBIs. He was not in the starting lineup Tuesday.

• Carle, 25, appeared in one game, throwing a perfect inning with a strikeout. Tapia, 23, appeared in two games and went hitless in seven at-bats.

Steve Dilbeck is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.