LOS ANGELES -- Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau couldn't resist showing up for early batting practice at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, even though he didn't take a single swing.
Members of the freshly crowned Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings took batting practice as guests of the Dodgers. Morneau, who grew up playing hockey as a goalie in British Columbia but learned early his future was in baseball, arrived at the park early and spent time at the batting cage taking video and meeting with Kings players.
"I know a few of them, and I know [defenseman] Willie Mitchell from his days back in Minnesota and Vancouver, and a few of the other guys from being around a few years," said Morneau.
Kings players weren't exactly hitting for power, but for athletes from another sport they made contact with greater consistency than, say, basketball or football players would. Morneau said it could be the nature of the sport, which depends on timing with the stick.
"The hand-eye coordination probably helps, and it's rotational -- a swinging-type sport when they shoot," Morneau said. "That's a little different from a guy being able to shoot a three-pointer, which takes an incredible amount of hand-eye coordination, also. I've seen some football guys swing, baseball guys swing and hockey guys swing. It's always entertaining to see guys who don't play much baseball take a baseball-type swing, and look ugly. It's great."
Masset suspended for three games
LOS ANGELES -- Major League Baseball issued Rockies right-handed relief pitcher Nick Masset a three-game suspension and an undisclosed fine on Tuesday for hitting the Braves' Evan Gattis with a ninth-inning pitch during Thursday's 10-3 victory.
Masset decided not to fight the suspension, and began serving it Tuesday. He can return Saturday at Coors Field against the Brewers.
"I was definitely a little surprised," Masset said. "I wasn't really aware of what was going to happen. Coming in, I felt like there was going to be a fine. It was my first time being ejected, especially for this type of situation. I don't necessarily agree with the discipline, actually, but I'm just going to take it and do my due diligence."
According to MLB's announcement, Masset was suspended because his pitch came after each team was issued a warning after the Braves' David Carpenter hit Corey Dickerson with a pitch in the eighth, after Dickerson's backswing caught Braves catcher Gerald Laird on his mask and forced him to leave the game.
Carpenter also received an undisclosed fine.
Masset retired the first two batters of the ninth inning before hitting Gattis and earning the ejection. He did not address whether it was his duty to stand up for his teammates, who gave him high-fives in the dugout as he left the field.
"That was kind of the way the game went," Masset said. "I don't have a whole lot of comment on it. We've already moved on.
"People want to talk about the high-fives and that, coming in the dugout. They were high-fiving me because I got two outs and we were winning the ballgame. I don't think it had anything to do with, 'Way to hit him,' or something like that. We played a great game that day."
Parker ends whirlwind day in The Show
LOS ANGELES -- Kyle Parker, the Rockies' top Draft pick in 2010, made brief appearances in two games Monday. The second one will be remembered far longer than the first.
Parker started in a day game for Triple-A Colorado Springs against Salt Lake, but was pulled after a half-inning when the Rockies called him to the Majors. Parker arrived at Dodger Stadium around game time. He struck out against Dodgers left-handed reliever J.P. Howell pinch-hitting in the eighth inning of a 6-1 loss.
"Honestly, I just tried to put myself in a situation I've been in hundreds of times, and just go up with a good approach," Parker said. "You're trying to slow yourself down and gather your thoughts, because there's a lot going on in a short period of time. I did my best and tried to go out there with a good mental approach."
Since outfielder/first baseman Michael Cuddyer suffered a fracture in his left shoulder earlier this month, Parker has known he was a promotion candidate. The the organization's No. 6 prospect hit .292 with seven home runs and 38 RBIs at Colorado Springs.
Parker, 24, plays both outfield corners, and starting last season the Rockies began training him to play first base. With four other outfielders playing well, it's not likely Parker will start as often as Cuddyer did, but he does fill in for Cuddyer in the sense he is a right-handed hitter who can play multiple positions and hit with power.
"I knew for a little bit they kind of needed a right-handed guy off the bench, maybe with a little power," Parker said. "So I had kind of an expectation, maybe it'll happen, maybe it won't. I tried to go out every day and continue to work on my game.
"I played probably the last six days there at first. I kind of had a feeling that's what they would need me to do, especially when Cuddy went down. I felt comfortable over there."
Rockies pony up to bring Padlo into fold
LOS ANGELES -- The Rockies have reached a bonus agreement with Murrieta Valley High School third baseman Kevin Padlo, their fifth-round pick in the Draft, worth $650,000, MLB.com has learned.
The club has not confirmed the agreement.
Padlo's bonus is significantly higher than the $346,300 that was recommended for the pick in Major League Baseball's system for slotting Draft pool money.
Starting with some big performances on the summer circuit last year, Padlo went from under-recruited to highly desired by pro and college teams. Padlo posted a 1.101 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) as a senior.
The Rockies also announced the signings of the following Draft picks on Tuesday:
Kyle Freeland (Round 1), Ryan Castellani (2), Sam Howard (3), Wes Rogers (4), Max George (6), Drew Weeks (7), Harrison Musgrave (8), Andrew Rohrbach (9), Troy Stein (10), Richard Prigatano (11), Dylan Craig (12), Grahamm Wiest (14), Alec Kenilvort (15), Roberto Ramos (16), Shane Hoelscher (17), James Lomangino (18), Nate Causey (19), Jordan Parris (20), Josh Michalec (21), Sam Bumpers (22), Gavin Glanz (23), Jerry Vasto (24), Alec Crawford (25), Taylor Black (26), Craig Schlitter (27), Logan Sawyer (29), Hunter Brothers (30) and Dylan Thompson (31).
The club did not release terms, although some of the bonus amounts for upper-round picks have been reported.
In addition, the Rockies have reached an agreement with the 35th overall pick, Orangewood (Fla.) Christian High School second baseman Forrest Wall, who is expected to sign on Wednesday.
Rockies likely to call up pitcher to start Saturday
LOS ANGELES -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he is "leaning toward bringing somebody in" to start on Saturday, at home against the Brewers.
The rotation slot was vacated when the club optioned righty Juan Nicasio to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Weiss said he doesn't know who the Rockies will pick to make the start. A possibility is Colorado Springs righty Pedro Hernandez, who has 15 Major League appearances, including 13 starts, with the White Sox (2012) and Twins ('13).
With the Rockies off on Thursday, they also have the option to skip the fifth-starter slot and put off the decision until June 25, at home against the Cardinals. However, the current rotation includes two recent callups in their first Major League experience (righty Christian Bergman and lefty Tyler Matzek), and two players with injury concerns (righty Jhoulys Chacin missed the first month with a right shoulder strain and lefty Jorge De La Rosa is dealing with periodic back stiffness and a bruised left middle finger).
Thursday's off-day is the Rockies' last until July 10, so there are no other opportunities for extra rest on the horizon.