The Diamondbacks announced they’ve placed outfielder Kole Calhoun on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain. Infielder Jake Hager has been recalled from Triple-A Reno to take his place on the active roster.
It’s a worrying development for Calhoun, who underwent surgery to repair a left hamstring strain in April. That injury ultimately cost him around two and a half months. The D-Backs haven’t provided a timetable for his return this time around. There are only around seven weeks left on the schedule, so if Calhoun’s new strain is nearly as severe as his first, it could mark the end of his season.
Calhoun is in the final guaranteed season of the two-year, $16MM free agent contract he signed over the 2019-20 winter. Entering the offseason, Arizona will have to decide whether to exercise their $9MM option to keep him in the fold for 2022. That comes with a $2MM buyout, so it’s a $7MM decision for general manager Mike Hazen and the rest of the front office. Calhoun emerged as a somewhat surprising power force (.226/.338/.526) during his first season in the desert, but he’s stumbled to a .238/.293/.354 mark over 140 plate appearances this year.
Given Calhoun’s injury-riddled campaign, it seems likely the club will buy him out — particularly as they look to give playing time to younger outfielders down the stretch and into 2022. The team surely expects to be better next year than they’ve been this season, but an immediate return to contention doesn’t seem especially likely. Pavin Smith, Stuart Fairchild and Daulton Varsho are among the players looking to cement themselves as regulars somewhere in the D-Backs lineup.