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Hamstring injury shuts down Connor Joe for remainder of season, but not shut out entirely

Patrick Lyons Avatar
September 24, 2021

When the Colorado Rockies dropped off their minor league invites during the 2020-21 offseason at the Post Office, they received some quality RSVPs.

C.J. Cron, a player who probably should have been picked up by a car service a few years ago before making if official this February, solidified the middle part of the lineup throughout the year and won a National League Player of the Month Award along the way. Chi Chi González, who seemingly responded via inter-office memo and saved the club the cost a postage stamp, was noble in numerous starts when the rotation was on the mend.

Last on the list was an overlooked first-round draft pick cast aside by four organizations who showed up in Scottsdale with only 17 days of big league experience. By the time he eventually saw regular playing time, the Coors Field faithful were chanting his name.


After capturing the hearts of Rockies’ fans throughout the summer,  Connor Joe suffered a lower-half injury at home against Atlanta on September 3. This week, Bud Black made it official that Connor Joe’s inspirational season was over.

“We felt medically, everybody included – Connor himself, the doctor, our training staff – that this hamstring injury is not healed significantly enough for him to realistically be ready to play in the next you know our next 11 games, so unfortunately Connor’s season is over.”

Joe spent multiple stints on the I-25 shuttle going back-and-forth to Albuquerque before coming up for good on July 20 and registering his first career home run. That day turned out to be the one-year anniversary of being declared cancer-free following a battle with testicular cancer.

Then he slugged a dinger in his native San Diego, followed by a game with two homers off the bench and another he opened with a leadoff long ball. All within a month. 

During his time better familiarizing himself with playing outfield, the former corner infielder began to hit atop the lineup, even becoming only the third first baseman to ever bat leadoff for the Rockies.

Colorado was at its best with Joe batting first, going 11-12 (.478 winning percentage) from August 10 through September 3, highest among the regulars in that spot. Raimel Tapia’s reign was a notch lower at 44-57 (.449) while Garrett Hampson’s time atop the lineup produced a 13-18 (.419) record.

“The quality of the at bat, the ability to conduct an at bat and do the things that we’re looking for from a lot of our players… he stepped right in and did a really nice job,” Black said of the 28-year-old rookie.

Joe met with Rockies’ trainers, Black and support staff to weigh the risks with the rewards. Having seemingly carved out a place on the roster for next season, the decision to shut it down was made with hopes of getting a jump start on preparing for 2022. But it wasn’t without trying.

“I was hoping for 10 days here at the end of the season. We could have pushed the envelope a little bit, but luckily we didn’t do any more damage,” Joe said amid a small scrum at Coors Field.

Though he entered the season with zeroes across nearly all offensive categories in the Majors – besides one base hit – since being drafted in 2014, Joe became one of the better contributors for Colorado this season, batting .285 with five home runs and 35 runs batted in over 43 starts.

It may be ending with a whimper for the fan favorite, but like much of the events in 2021 for the franchise, the silver linings abound.

“All I could ask for coming in this year this year was an opportunity to show what I can do at the big league level,” Joe shared. “Grateful for the Rockies and the opportunities they gave me and I do feel like I maximized what I was given. So, I’m happy about that.”


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