A trend of meeting expectations has emerged within the Colorado Rockies. The team announced Tuesday that Garrett Hampson was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque among his recent struggles.
In 93 at-bats, Hampson has gone 18-for-93 (.194) with the big league club. The youngster’s struggles were most evident in his 26 strikeouts to only four walks.
Known for his speed, Hampson was able to put together a seven-game hitting streak in mid-April but has struggled with the reintegration of both Ryan McMahon and Daniel Murphy back into the club’s lineup.
In his stead, the Rockies recalled Pat Valaika. As a utility player off the bench, he scuffled in his first stint with the club, going 2-for-27 (.074).
Following his demotion, Valaika once again found a rhythm for the Isotopes. In 73 at-bats for the Rockies’ minor league affiliate, he’s hit eight home runs in 69 at-bats, sporting an on-base plus slugging of 1.066.
Valaika will offer the club more versatility than Hampson as he’s also played every position outside of catcher, right field and center field for the Rockies.
The call-up comes as a surprise for many pundits that were expecting Brendan Rodgers to get a chance at some point this season. As the franchise’s premier prospect, he had slashed .333/.406/.587 on the year including 17 extra-base hits prior to his latest outburst.
After being plunked in the head the game prior, Rodgers once again made an impact Monday night:
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) May 14, 2019
Later in the game, Rodgers hit his second long ball on the night to bring his season total to nine.
While it would appear Rodgers is inching closer to making a debut, he only has 33 games at the minor’s highest level. The lack of experience likely means additional at-bats would benefit him more than a bench spot with the Rockies.