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Colorado Rockies prospect Colton Welker returns from PED suspension, joins Spokane Indians for weekend rehab

UPDATED: Sat., July 31, 2021

In this March 12, 2021, file photo, Colorado Rockies third baseman Colton Welker throws to first during the team’s spring training baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale, Ariz. Welker was given an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. The suspension was announced Thursday, May 6, 2021, by the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball.  (Associated Press)
In this March 12, 2021, file photo, Colorado Rockies third baseman Colton Welker throws to first during the team’s spring training baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale, Ariz. Welker was given an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. The suspension was announced Thursday, May 6, 2021, by the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. (Associated Press)

It’s been a long few months for Colorado Rockies prospect Colton Welker.

In May, Welker, the club’s No. 11 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was suspended for 80 games without pay for violating MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

He tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), a performance-enhancing substance. He was with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes at the time.

The Rockies drafted Welker, 23, out of Stoneman-Douglas High School (Florida) in the fourth round of the 2016 Draft. Colorado added him to its 40-man roster following the 2020 season.

Welker issued a statement at the time, saying that he did not knowingly ingest DHCMT, referring to other players who have also been perplexed as to how very small amounts of the drug showed up in testing.

“I want to make it very clear that I have never willingly nor intentionally ingested any substance to enhance my athletic performance,” Welker said in the statement.

With his suspension completed this week, the Rockies assigned Welker to the Spokane Indians roster on Wednesday on a rehab assignment. He did not play Wednesday but was in the starting lineup on Thursday against Vancouver.

“It’s been, you know, obviously different,” Welker said of his time off this season.

“I’m used to playing. It was definitely a big surprise to me and a big surprise to anyone that really, you know, knows me closely. I’m just glad it’s almost over and, you know, I’m kind of proud of myself how I handled it and I can definitely see how some guys struggle mentally with this type of thing.”

Welker praised the Rockies organization for having his back during the process.

“The Rockies were very good with me,” he said. “They walked me through the whole process, made me feel, you know, okay that they kind of understood that there’s a little bit of a fail in this in the system with the MLB and hopefully that it gets worked out in the next bargaining agreement.”

He’s been able to work out within the organization and stay in shape during the suspension.

“Having (the Rockies) kind of behind me, and being able to stay stay with the guys in AAA and basically be a part of the team and stuff like that, it made me feel feel not so left out. So that was a great thing.”

Welker expected the worst publicity-wise when the suspension was announced. He found the opposite.

“When it first happened, I assumed I’d be getting blown up on social media, getting a lot of ‘Why are you doing this to us?’ It was actually the complete opposite. I had probably over 50 Major League players reach out to me on Instagram saying, ‘Man we got your back, we’re gonna get this fixed.’

“So that was kind of a little bit of surprise to me. Not that I did anything wrong in my eyes but, but just to know that people kind of had my back and understood the situation. So that was kind of special too.”

The plan is for Welker to remain with the Indians through Aug. 8 and be reactivated to the Albuquerque roster after that.

Davis added to roster

Right-handed starter Noah Davis, acquired by the Rockies in a trade that send big league reliever Mychal Givens to the Reds, was assigned to the Indians roster on Thursday. Davis, 24, slots into the Rockies top prospects list at No. 25.

Scouting reports like Davis’ four-pitch mix, including a low-90s fastball, slider, curve and a deceptive, fading changeup.

Davis was 3-6 with a 3.60 ERA in 13 starts for High-A Central Dayton this season before the deal.

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