Rockies boot Jason Hammel from rotation in favor of newly-acquired Alex White

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The Rockies are ready to begin reaping the rewards of the recent Ubaldo Jimenez trade.

Jim Tracy announced earlier today that Alex White will be activated from the disabled list and start Tuesday against the Astros. He’ll take the place of struggling right-hander Jason Hammel, who will move to the bullpen for now.

White was acquired from the Indians last month along with 2010 first-round pick Drew Pomeranz, right-hander Joe Gardner and first baseman-outfielder Matt McBride. The 22-year-old right-hander posted a 3.60 ERA and 13/9 K/BB ratio over his first three major league starts before going on the disabled list in May with a strained ligament in his right index finger. The 2009 first-round pick struck out four over 7 2/3 shutout innings Thursday in his most recent minor league rehab start with Double-A Tulsa.

Hammel was just blasted for six runs over three innings in a loss to the Dodgers last night. He has an ugly 8.41 ERA and 21/22 K/BB ratio since the All-Star break and a 5.24 ERA for the season. While he is basically throwing at the same velocity this season as he was in 2010, his strikeout percentage has dipped from 18.3 percent to 11.9 percent while his walk percentage has increased from 6.1 percent to 9.7 percent. The 28-year-old right-hander avoided arbitration this winter by signing a two-year, $7.75 million contract. He is owed $4.75 million in 2012.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.