Diamondbacks vs Rockies: Roberts Gone, Other Trade Rumors, And Starting Lineups

Prior to tonight's game against the Colorado Rockies, it was announced that "Tatman" Ryan Roberts was designated for assignment. Diamondbacks Executive Vice President and General Manager, Kevin Towers, said that the decision was necessary for a couple of different reasons. One being that John McDonald was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list after his rehabilitation assignment with rookie-level AZL D-backs, where he played in three games. McDonald, who was placed on the disabled list on July 2 with a strained left oblique, is hitting .267 with 4 home runs and 12 RBI in 33 games for the Diamondbacks this season.

The other reason for Roberts' departure was to provide Ryan Wheeler, who was just brought up from Triple-A Reno July 20, an opportunity for more playing time at third. Wheeler, at the time of his promotion, led the Minors with 90 RBI, was ranked fifth with 127 hits, was tied for ninth with a .351 batting average, and had 15 home runs in 93 games for the Aces. The Diamondbacks have been looking to lock down a permanent third baseman all season. With Wheeler being only 24 years old, the Diamondbacks felt it was a good opportunity to see what Wheeler could do the rest of the season, as well as possibly locking down that position for the future, like Paul Goldschmidt has seem to done at first base.

Ryan Roberts, whose batting average of .250 is almost exactly the same as what it was last season, struggled in April, but has been hot recently, hitting .344 in limited play in July. Roberts overall power is down, and he has also been more inconsistent defensively this season. Roberts, who is 31, has appeared in 82 games for the D-backs this season, and has hit 9 doubles, 6 home runs, and 33 RBI. In 2011, Roberts played in 143 games and batted .249 with 25 doubles and 19 home runs. Roberts had a .427 slugging percentage with a .768 OPS, and played an integral part of the D-backs playoff run last season.

There are still rumors that the Diamondbacks may be in the market to trade Justin Upton or Stephen Drew before the July 31 trade deadline. Kevin Towers said "I'll listen to anyone" when it comes to negotiation a deal, but that doesn't mean the Diamondbacks are shopping Upton or Drew. Towers is satisfied with the D-backs pitching staff and said if there were a trade to be made, it would probably be for a position player. He also said that he puts "Stephen in the same place as Upton" regarding a trade. Right now he doesn't see anybody out there that would make the Diamondbacks a better team by losing either one of them.

Here are tonight's starting lineups:

Rockies:

Dexter Fowler (CF)

Marco Scutaro (2B)

Carlos Gonzalez (LF)

Michael Cuddyer (1B)

Andrew Brown (RF)

Wilin Rosario (C)

Josh Rutledge (SS)

DJ LeMahieu (3B)

Edwar Cabrera (P, 0-1, 19.92 ERA)

Diamondbacks:

Willie Bloomquist (3B)

Aaron Hill (2B)

Jason Kubel (LF)

Paul Goldschmidt (1B)

Justin Upton (RF)

Miguel Montero (C)

Chris Young (CF)

Stephen Drew (SS)

Joe Saunders (P, 4-6, 3.58, 5.01 ERA at home)

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