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Hampson recalled, Hoffman optioned

@SarahWexler32
June 23, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- The Rockies on Sunday optioned right-hander Jeff Hoffman to Triple-A Albuquerque and recalled utility man Garrett Hampson. Hampson, who played center field and batted second in Sunday’s lineup against the Dodgers, has hit .186/.231/.258 with a home run across 33 games in two stints for the Rockies

LOS ANGELES -- The Rockies on Sunday optioned right-hander Jeff Hoffman to Triple-A Albuquerque and recalled utility man Garrett Hampson.

Hampson, who played center field and batted second in Sunday’s lineup against the Dodgers, has hit .186/.231/.258 with a home run across 33 games in two stints for the Rockies this season. His promotion was necessitated by a rash of injuries to Colorado’s position players.

“We have a couple guys who are a little banged up, so we needed some position players to get us through here the next couple days,” manager Bud Black said. “So that’s why we called up Garrett -- he gives us great versatility. Can play all over the diamond. And we feel as though that was needed here in the short term.”

Banged-up regulars include Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado and Ian Desmond, who were out of the Rockies’ lineup Sunday. Black noted that each is available “in some form,” depending on how the game played out, and emphasized that none are a candidate for the injured list at this time.

“They just needed a day or two to heal a bit,” said Black.

This will be the third Minor League stint of the season for Hoffman, who started the year at Triple-A. In seven starts for the Rockies in 2019, he’s posted a 6.75 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.

With Hoffman’s demotion, the Rockies’ starter for Tuesday’s game in San Francisco remains to be determined. There’s a strong possibility it could be right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez, who has a 5.66 ERA and 1.533 WHIP in 14 starts for Triple-A Albuquerque this year. It would be Gonzalez’s first Major League start since 2016.

One potential candidate, Kyle Freeland, can be eliminated, according to Black. The left-hander, who was optioned to Triple-A on May 31, made his fourth start for Albuquerque on Sunday afternoon. Freeland allowed five runs before getting ejected with two outs in the third inning.

Story progressing

Shortstop Trevor Story said Sunday that he’s feeling “really good” after landing on the IL on Thursday with a right thumb sprain.

“Just knowing for me, mentally, that the ligaments are OK is huge,” said Story. “I dinged my bone pretty good, so that’s something to get over, but yeah, I’m encouraged by how I’m feeling.”

Story wouldn’t rule out the possibility of being activated when he’s eligible on June 30. His workout routine remains unchanged, although he has not been taking batting practice or throwing.

“He’s moving [the thumb] around, getting some mobility,” said Black. “Now it’s just a matter of Mother Nature taking its course on the sprain.”

Castellani undergoes surgery

Another potential candidate for a spot start, right-hander Ryan Castellani, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Rockies’ No. 11 prospect, underwent surgery Friday to remove loose bodies from his right elbow, the club announced Sunday.

Castellani was placed on the Minor League injured list on June 14. In 10 starts for Triple-A Albuquerque this season, he posted an 8.31 ERA with a 1.938 WHIP. Castellani, 23, was selected in the second round of the 2014 Draft.

Sarah Wexler is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @SarahWexler32.