Inbox: Will Rockies recall prospect for boost?

Beat reporter Thomas Harding answers fans' questions

May 25th, 2018
(C) Kevin Pataky Photography

DENVER -- Rockies fans fear that their first-place team will end up nowhere fast if they don't improve the offense.
Three sub-.200 hitters are frequently starting, former National League batting champion DJ LeMahieu is injured, Charlie Blackmon (.195 batting average in the last 11 games) is in a slump and (1-for-10 in three games in Los Angeles) is in a mini-slump.
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That is what people want to know about most in today's Inbox.

Right question, possibly about the wrong guy.
The Rockies promoted infielder Garrett Hampson (the team's No. 7 prospect per MLB Pipeline) from Double-A Hartford to Triple-A Albuquerque recently. After going 1-for-4 with a sacrifice fly and three RBIs in Thursday's 16-11 loss to Salt Lake City, Hampson is hitting .233 with a .368 on-base percentage and three stolen bases. He hit .304 with a .391 OBP and 19 steals in 38 games at Double-A.
LeMahieu's absence leaves a hole toward the top of the order, and Hampson has hit leadoff. Another factor in looking at the 23-year-old: he was a three-year collegiate player at Long Beach State (selected in the third round of the 2016 Draft) who displayed a high comfort and maturity level in Spring Training.

Rodgers (the club's No. 1 prospect) looks to be a strong player. He's hitting .291 with a .355 on-base percentage, 10 home runs and a .545 slugging percentage. But Rodgers is 21 years old, and Hampson is a better fit for the upper part of the order and already in Triple-A, so I suspect Hampson is at the front of the line.
A lot depends on how much time LeMahieu will miss. He hasn't played since May 13, and although he has started fielding drills, he has yet to swing a bat. It's not clear if he'll need a Minor League rehab assignment.

To me, this is a test for general manager Jeff Bridich. Last year, he made moves at the non-waiver Trade Deadline to improve the bullpen, but he and the organization must determine what moves to make and when.
What's being exposed is a lack of offensive depth, which is a product of counting on young players for the bench, and some of those reserves have had to start more because of injuries and other absences.
This early, I am not hearing that they are in search of trades, but I'm told that could change. The Rockies guard information closely and actively try to keep themselves out of the trade-rumor mill.'s Matthew Leach recently discussed the possibility of bringing McMahon up. McMahon made the Opening Day roster, but he was sent down quickly to get regular at-bats and to adjust some swing weaknesses that were being taken advantage of in the big leagues.
On Thursday, McMahon went 3-for-5 with a double, triple and an RBI for Triple-A Albuquerque, and he is 8-for-19 with two doubles and a triple in his last five games. What I don't know in his case, or with the aforementioned Hampson and Rodgers, is the quality of at-bats and exactly what type of pitching he is seeing.

is the best on the staff at making in-game adjustments, and I lean that way. However, is on a roll with six straight quality starts, and his 1.40 home ERA offers a good argument.
A key will be consistency out of the staff during the upcoming nine-game homestand, which starts with facing the Reds on Friday night. Major League observers like the talent of the staff and point to extenuating circumstances -- such as an MLB-low 18 home games and multiple games in bitter weather -- but they have a 5.65 home ERA.
(0-3, 10.34 ERA), Bettis (0-0, 6.89) and Gray (2-3, 6.04) have all struggled at home, with  (1-1, 4.24) also battling playing in a pitchers' park.