Josh Fuentes wants to make a play on his cousin Nolan Arenado, maybe rob him of a hit this weekend. He’d also like to hit a liner right past him.
After being teammates in Colorado, Fuentes and Arenado will face each other for the first time since Arenado was traded to the Cardinals in February, a move that shook the organization and eventually led to the departure of now-former general manager Jeff Bridich.
Fuentes is starting at third on Friday, taking over the spot Arenado vacated.
“It’s going to be fun,” Fuentes said. “The thing is, we want to beat each other so bad, we might shake hands before but once we get on the field it’s going to be a battle.”
On the other end, Arenado will face the team that drafted him and developed him into a star. He played eight seasons in Colorado, making the All-Star game five times.
He said he’s felt a lot of different emotions about this series, including being a little anxious.
“It’ll be cool to see some of the guys I’m really close with,” he said. “But, at the end of the day, it’s another series that we want to win.”
As for the way things ended in Colorado, Arenado said his only regret is that he let his feud with Bridich become public. He said that he loved his moment with the Rockies, and enjoyed giving fans something to cheer about.
“I wasn’t miserable,” he said. “2020 was just a tough year in general. Being hurt was just frustrating. Now, just being healthier, when you are healthier you feel better and wake up feeling better."
He doesn’t keep tabs on the Rockies as a team, but does check in with Fuentes and shortstop Trevor Story. With the Cardinals, who are 18-14 and in first place in the NL Central, Arenado has a .276 batting average. He has 34 hits and five home runs.
“I’m just happy to be here, it’s going great,” he said. “Hopefully I can stay healthier for the whole year and help this team win.”
Brendan Rodgers (hamstring strain), Yency Almonte (hand contusion) and Kyle Freeland (shoulder strain) played their second simulated game on Friday. Freeland threw three innings, and Rodgers got five at-bats. If both report on Saturday in good health, they will head to Arizona to see game action. After that, they will likely go to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Antonio Senzatela (groin strain) pitched a bullpen session on Friday. He is close to activation, and could be ready in time for his next start on Monday.
Infielder Connor Joe was called up on Friday and José Mujica was optioned to Triple-A. Mujica was activated on May 5, after the Rockies used all but one reliever in the bullpen in the doubleheader on May 4.
Now that the relievers have had a day to rest, manager Bud Black said they didn’t need 10 players in the bullpen anymore. Joe had a great spring training, and Black said it was a hard decision to send him back to Triple-A at the end.