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.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.