The Athletics announced that they've claimed outfielder Kent Matthes off waivers from the Rockies and optioned him to Triple-A Sacramento. Jarrod Parker, who underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this week, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster (Twitter links).
Matthes, 27, ranked among the Rockies' Top 30 prospects (per Baseball America) as recently as last winter, when he was 16th on the list. A former fourth-round pick out of Alabama, Matthes has a solid .275/.332/.505 batting line in his minor league career, although he did not reach the Triple-A level until last year — his age-26 season. As BA notes, a torn patellar tendon, a broken hand and an oblique strain have severely shortened three of his minor league campaigns. However, he was still good enough in 2011 to take home California League MVP honors for batting .334/.378/.642 with 23 homers in 93 games before his hand was broken when it was hit by a pitch.
BA noted in the 2013 edition of its annual Prospect Handbook (highly recommended) that Matthes is an average runner with one of the strongest arms in the Rockies' system and profiled as a solid defender in right field.