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McKenry signs with Rockies

Former MT catcher rejoins team that drafted him in 2006

January 17, 2014 · @MTAthletics

DENVER- Former Blue Raider baseball standout Michael McKenry has signed with the Colorado Rockies, returning to the organization that drafted him in 2006.

McKenry, who spent the past three years with the Pittsburgh Pirates, inked a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training after being part of a Pittsburgh squad that won the National League Wild Card in 2013.

"It's humbling to go back," McKenry said. "It's a great opportunity to compete for a job. I have a lot of respect for the Rockies organization and the way they play the game. I'm honored and blessed to get back to Colorado."

A seventh-round pick by the Rockies in 2006, McKenry was a September call-up for Colorado in 2010. Following the season, he was dealt to Boston before being acquired by Pittsburgh later in 2011. McKenry played three years with the Pirates, including a 2012 campaign which saw him hit 12 home runs in 240 at-bats.

McKenry, who will be 29 in March, looks forward not only to an opportunity to crack the Rockies' opening day roster, but to take the lessons learned during the Pirates' 2013 playoff run and teach the two younger catchers on the Colorado roster, Wilin Rosario and Jordan Pacheco.

"Wilin has great offensive tools, and his game is really coming along defensively," McKenry said. "Jordan Pacheco has been the backup catcher, but he's a guy who can play all over. They only have one true catcher on the roster. It's a great opportunity for me to make the team, and it's a great opportunity to work with these two younger guys."

"Our motto in Pittsburgh last year was to get one-tenth of one percent better every day," McKenry added. "We believed in being unselfish, and didn't care who was going to be the hero on a given night."

The team-first attitude for the 2013 Pirates paid off, with Pittsburgh making the playoffs for the first time since 1992. "Buctober," as the fans and organization called it, brought baseball fever back in the Steel City.

Pitchers and catchers report to the Rockies' spring training facility in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Feb. 15.

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