Barmes, Hawpe placed on DL

Barmes, Hawpe placed on DL

DENVER -- The Rockies placed shortstop Clint Barmes and right fielder Brad Hawpe on the 15-day disabled list before Saturday afternoon's 9-2 loss to the Mets.

Hawpe suffered a right hamstring strain on Tuesday night against the Giants, and his DL stint is retroactive to Wednesday. Barmes suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee on Friday night, when the Mets' Jose Reyes slid into him during the 10th inning of the Rockies' 6-5 victory.

The Rockies called up outfielder Seth Smith, who played right field and went 0-for-4 on Saturday, and third baseman Ian Stewart from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Stewart moved into the starting lineup just before the first pitch, when Garrett Atkins was scratched because of a stiff neck, and went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Barmes, who had hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games, is hitting .343 with five home runs and 20 RBIs. The injury during a hot streak immediately took Rockies fans back to 2005, when Barmes hit .410 in April and was at .329 when he suffered a broken collarbone on June 5. Barmes hit .216 after returning, and it wasn't until this year that he regained his swing.

Barmes said he hopes to return in two to four weeks, but admitted he isn't sure because he's never suffered a knee injury. But he said he learned from his last injury.

"It's pretty frustrating," Barmes said. "I've been here before with the injuries. I try to not push it too hard and see how it goes."

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said, "It all depends on how you look at it. There have been two hot starts there. But what he can control right now is his attitude, his emotions and how he puts himself in place to find his way back again.

"He's a tough kid. Delay is not denial. I think he's had enough improvement and enough encouraging signs this season."

The Rockies lost Opening Day shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to a ligament tear in his left quadriceps on April 29, and his return isn't expected until sometime around the All-Star break, possibly afterward.

Hurdle started Omar Quintanilla at short on Saturday. Jonathan Herrera also played short throughout his Minor League career, so Hurdle will make his decisions day-by-day.

Hawpe, struggling at .231 with three home runs and 17 RBIs, underwent a series of tests under controlled conditions, but was judged not to be in game shape.

Have a question about the Rockies?
Thomas HardingE-mail your query to MLB.com Rockies beat reporter Thomas Harding for possible inclusion in a future Inbox column. Letters may be edited for brevity, length and/or content.
First Name, Last Initial:

Hometown:

Email Address:

Question:

"Baseball's not a game played in a controlled environment," Hurdle said. "There are quick bursts. In the swing of the bat, you use your legs as a foundation. Getting out of the box clean with some momentum is critical. Playing defense in the outfield without a solid foundation [is difficult].

"[Hawpe] knows where he is now. He's not close. We felt he might be close three or four days from now. That puts him halfway home on the DL, so we'll just go retroactive."

Hawpe admitted he wouldn't have been functional on Saturday, and understood the Rockies' decision.

"It'll be a few days before I can play defense, anyway, and be in the lineup," Hawpe said. "I guess it's not like I'm going to be out for another two weeks. It gives me a week and a half to make sure I'm all right."

Atkins said he is taking muscle-relaxing medicine for his neck, and the club will reassess him on Sunday.

"It's been bothering me the last couple of weeks, off and on," said Atkins, who said he suffered the injury on a swing. "It'll get better, and then one day, it will be worse. The next day, it'll be feeling pretty good. Today was the worst it's felt. I couldn't turn side-to-side."

In addition, center fielder Willy Taveras did not play because of a bruised right knee he suffered on Friday night, and the Rockies will have to keep an eye on left fielder Matt Holliday, who suffered a slight left hamstring strain in the ninth inning Sautrday.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.