Rockies react to Hawpe's release

Rockies react to Hawpe's release

LOS ANGELES -- Manager Jim Tracy on Thursday officially announced what was known the night before: Brad Hawpe's career with the Rockies was over.

Hawpe was designated for assignment and 25-year-old reliever Matt Reynolds was called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Hawpe, 31, hit .280 with 118 home runs and 464 RBIs in his seven seasons in the Majors, all with the Rockies. He's seventh on the team's home run list and eighth on the RBI list.

Tracy said he "was in a box" when it came to finding playing time for a crowded outfield, and Hawpe's playing time and numbers both suffered. Though he hit .255 in just 300 at-bats this season, the numbers didn't make letting Hawpe go any less painful.

"Last night was not easy for a lot of us," Tracy said. "Just because of what this man has meant to this organization, not for a very short, [but] a long period of time. He is part of the fabric of the organization and how it represents itself. He has been just a wonderful leader in our clubhouse."

Hawpe was a role model, particularly for Carlos Gonzalez. Todd Helton, who is Hawpe's neighbor and co-owns a ranch with him, said he knows Hawpe will be able to show he can play again with sufficient playing time.

"It's never easy, but whether it's the best move ..." Helton. "I know it's not the best move for me, because I'm losing a good friend. But hopefully it's a good move for him, for his career and furthering it."

Hawpe's final at-bat came on Wednesday, when he had a pinch-hit single in the seventh at Dodger Stadium in a 10-inning, 3-2 win for Colorado.

"I also think that single I saw Brad get last night in a pinch-hit appearance may have been the most beautiful single that I have ever seen hit in my career, and I mean that," Tracy said. "If you would've seen the response in this dugout, after he got that base hit, you'd understand completely everything that I'm saying to you."