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ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 10: DJ LeMahieu #9 of the Colorado Rockies at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 10, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Colorado Rockies announced they placed second baseman DJ LeMahieu on the 10-day disabled list Monday with a left thumb sprain and recalled Pat Valaika in a corresponding roster move.

The 29-year-old LeMahieu is in the midst of his seventh season with the Rockies after starting his career with the Chicago Cubs, and he has developed into one of the National League‘s best middle infielders.

He is hitting .279/.350/.457 with five home runs on the season, which comes on the heels of three productive campaigns.

Last season, LeMahieu hit .310 with eight home runs, 64 RBI and 95 runs scored en route to his second career All-Star nod.

In 2016, LeMahieu won the NL batting title by hitting .348 and also set personal bests with 11 home runs, 66 RBI and 104 runs scored.

The former second-round pick made his first All-Star Game in 2015, and he is among Major League Baseball’s elite defensive players, earning Gold Glove awards in 2014 and 2017.

He is a valuable commodity for the Rockies largely because of his versatility. Not only can he do a little bit of everything on the field, but he can also hit anywhere in the lineup.

LeMahieu is vital since Colorado doesn’t have much depth behind him. For as long as he is on the shelf, the Rockies figure to turn to the fairly inexperienced Valaika or Daniel Castro.

Regardless of who takes LeMahieu’s place, it is unlikely that he will provide anything close to the complete skill set that LeMahieu brings to the table.

Colorado has some big-time bats in the form of Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado, but without a player like LeMahieu to get on base and make opposing pitchers work, they become less effective.

LeMahieu has been durable in recent years, having played in at least 146 games in each of the past four seasons, which gives the Rockies some hope that he’ll bounce back quickly.

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