The Rockies made two roster moves today.
First, the Rockies have optioned catcher Tom Murphy to Triple-A Albuquerque and have recalled veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan. Murphy has struggled mightily at the plate since returning from the disabled list with a broken hand. He has hit .050/.136/.100—but that was in just eight games and 22 plate appearances. Murphy hit .414/.419/.724 in an equally small sample of seven games and 31 plate appearances in Triple-A before returning to the Rockies.
Hanigan has been a serviceable catcher in his time with the Rockies this season. The 38-year-old filled in for Tony Wolters while he was on the disabled list. Hanigan has hit .254/.304/.395 in 13 games and 46 plate appearances in his time with the big-league club. Hanigan accepted an option from the Rockies on June 15, so there doesn’t need to be a corresponding move to bring him back to the majors. Hanigan will start tonight’s game. He’ll be catching Jon Gray, who will make his first start since April.
That brings us to the second move. In order to make room for Gray on the roster, the Rockies designated Chad Qualls for assignment. When Qualls wasn’t struggling to stay healthy in 2017, he was pitching poorly. In all, he posted a 5.40 ERA and 5.04 FIP in 162⁄3 innings of work.
The Rockies signed Qualls and Jason Motte prior to the 2016 season for a total of $16 million. The moves didn’t make much sense at the time, and they worked out about as well as most people expected. The Rockies DFA’d Motte in late March and unconditionally released him a few days afterward.