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Rockies place backup catcher Jose Morales on DL

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DENVER (AP)

Jose Morales went on the 60-day disabled list with a fractured right thumb on Friday, two days after the Colorado Rockies' backup catcher was hurt when a foul ball struck his hand while he worked behind the plate.

Colorado purchased the contract of catcher Matt Pagnozzi from its Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs to replace Morales on the roster. Pagnozzi was in uniform Friday night and available for Colorado's game against Detroit.

Morales, a switch-hitter, was batting .267 with three doubles and seven RBIs in 22 games while backing up regular catcher Chris Iannetta. Morales was hurt on a fifth-inning foul tip Wednesday against the San Diego Padres but remained in the game until the finish and even threw out a runner attempting to steal.

''He played the final four innings with a broken thumb,'' Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ''I think it says an awful lot about the kid.''

Morales was expected to undergo surgery on the damaged thumb on Monday. Doctors were expected to insert two screws into the thumb, Tracy said.

Pagnozzi was in the big leagues for the first time since finishing last season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was with the Rockies in spring training and was among their final cuts before the start of the season.

Tracy said Pagnozzi excelled defensively in the spring and has previously worked with the team's pitching staff.

''He's very familiar with our system and how we do things,'' Tracy said.

In a separate development, Tracy said injured right-hander Esmil Rogers has backed off his rehabilitation work after aggravating the right oblique muscle strain that sent him to disabled list last month. It's unclear when Rogers will resume his rehab program.

Tagged: Rockies, Jose Morales

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