In an unfortunate development for the surging, playoff-contending Rockies, second baseman DJ LeMahieu is headed to the 10-day disabled list because of a left oblique strain. The Rockies will replace him with infield prospect Garrett Hampson, whose contract they selected from Triple-A Albuquerque. To make room for Hampson, Colorado designated infielder Daniel Castro for assignment.
This is the third DL stint of the year for LeMahieu, who most recently missed the second half of May with a hand injury. In addition to the health issues LeMahieu has battled this season, the pending free agent hasn’t performed to his 2016-17 levels on offense, with a .278/.324/.430 line, eight home runs and five steals across 331 plate appearances. LeMahieu has been a standout in the field, however, having posted eight Defensive Runs Saved and a 3.1 Ultimate Zone Rating.
Winners of six straight and within two games of the NL West-leading Dodgers, the Rockies (52-45) will have to make do without LeMahieu – who, based on the nature of oblique issues, could miss significant time. But his injury has helped open the door for Hampson, Colorado’s sixth-ranked prospect at MLB Pipeline. The 23-year-old has logged above-average offensive numbers at each minor league stop since the Rockies picked him in the third round of the 2016 draft. A .306/.366/.443 hitter with four homers and 14 steals over 246 PAs this season, MLB Pipeline praises Hampson’s “quick right-handed swing,” patience and speed. He also has “Gold Glove upside” at the keystone, the outlet contends.
Castro, 25, is in his second year with the Rockies, who selected his contract for the first time earlier this season. Castro didn’t do much with that playing time before his designation, though, hitting a mere .174/.191/.261 in 47 trips to the plate. The former Brave owns a .210/.240/.265 line in 288 lifetime big league PAs, though he has slashed a more-than-respectable .333/.367/.457 in 227 Triple-A PAs this season.