APRIL 28: The Diamondbacks announced that they have placed outfielder Kole Calhoun and right-hander Taylor Widener on the 10-day injured list. They recalled catcher/outfielder Daulton Varsho and righty Riley Smith to fill the empty roster spots.
Calhoun suffered a left hamstring strain during the Diamondbacks’ win over the Padres on Tuesday, forcing him to leave early. This will already be the second IL stint of 2021 for Calhoun, who was unavailable to start the season after undergoing surgery on a torn right meniscus. Calhoun, who’s in the last season of a two-year, $16MM guarantee, has been one of Arizona’s top hitters since he joined the team. The ex-Angel had an impressive 2020 and has continued to fare well this season with a .292/.333/.479 line and a pair of home runs in 51 plate appearances.
Calhoun’s injury creates another opportunity for the 24-year-old Varsho, whom Baseball America ranks as the sport’s 60th-best prospect. Varsho, the 68th pick in the 2017 draft, debuted in the majors last year and batted .188/.277/.368 with three homers over 115 trips to the plate. He was far more productive during his most recent minor league action in 2019, when he slashed .301/.378/.520 with 18 HRs and 21 steals across 452 PA.
Widener’s heading to the shelf with a right groin strain, retroactive to April 25. The 26-year-old is tied for second on the Diamondbacks in starts (four) this season and has pitched to a 2.82 ERA with a 6.5 percent walk rate through 22 1/3 innings. However, Widener’s fielding-independent numbers – including a 4.52 SIERA, 4.73 FIP and 4.75 xFIP – aren’t as encouraging. Smith will start in Widener’s place Wednesday against the Padres.