Rox summon prospect Hoffman as 26th man

Catcher Murphy begins working toward return to baseball activities

May 9th, 2017

DENVER -- The Rockies called up right-hander -- the organization's No. 2 prospect -- to be available for Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader vs. the Cubs for the 26th roster spot allotted for such occasions.

Hoffman struck out two and gave up one hit -- a solo homer -- while throwing the Rockies' final 1 1/3 innings of a 8-1 loss.

"He showed me the last couple at-bats a little velocity on the fastball against [Addison] Russell, and I liked the fact when he got 3-1 against [Ben] Zobrist, he threw a strike and on 3-2 threw a really good strike that Zobrist swung through," said manager Bud Black.

"He landed a couple breaking balls. It was a good outing for him."

Hoffman is 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA in six starts at Triple-A Albuquerque, and he's been on a hot streak -- four runs (two earned) on four hits and 13 strikeouts over 13 innings in his past two outings. The 24-year-old was scratched from a scheduled start Monday against Las Vegas when the Rockies' game was being threatened, and ultimately postponed, because of inclement weather.

Tuesday's doubleheader sparked an intriguing scenario. No one will be available on regular rest to start Saturday night's game against the Dodgers. Black said he hasn't made a decision on the issue. Hoffman could figure into that mix, depending on what happens over the next several days.

Lefty reliever Chris Rusin serves as an option on the current roster. Rusin, who has started on several occasions in the past, walked two and gave up a run in Tuesday's first game, a 10-4 Rockies win. He threw 55 pitches in his last appearance before Tuesday -- a three-inning save in Saturday's 9-1 victory over the D-backs. Rusin could start Saturday, although Black will not likely push him much beyond 50 pitches.

Hoffman, by rule, must be sent back to Albuquerque after Tuesday night's game. But if the Rockies need him, they could recall him for Saturday. In that case, they would have to clear a spot from the 25-man active roster.

Worth noting

• Rookie catcher Tom Murphy, who suffered hairline fractures in his right forearm and wrist, began throwing a weighted ball Monday and hopes to work toward playing catch next week.

Murphy, a power hitter who has eight home runs in 79 Major League at-bats over the past two seasons, is the organization's No. 11 prospect. The 26-year-old said the slow recovery has been frustrating. The issue, he said, was there were actually two fractures -- one on the outside of the forearm and another closer to the wrist.

The second has been the slower of the two to heal. Murphy was hurt when the Cubs' hit him on a swing follow-through in Spring Training, while Murphy was attempting to throw to second on a steal attempt.

"My goal was to play May 1, and obviously it's way past that, so it's been a real long schedule, and there's nothing I can do," Murphy said.

Murphy said he has been bothered by the suggestion that his participation in a team archery contest the day after he was hit by Rizzo -- the extent of the injury wasn't known -- somehow worsened the injury.

"That's a very frustrating comment; no," Murphy said.

• Outfielder , asked about the stress reaction in his sixth rib that has bothered him since early Spring Training, said, "No news." Black said the Rockies must be careful.

"Two weeks ago, we ramped him up and it flared up, so you go by how the player is feeling, his symptoms," Black said. "At that point, he wasn't quite ready."