Wheeler designated to make room for Hernandez

Wheeler designated to make room for Hernandez

CHICAGO -- Since the Rockies have depth at first base, they designated the left-handed-hitting Ryan Wheeler for assignment so they could purchase the contract of lefty Pedro Hernandez -- Thursday afternoon's starter against the Cubs.

Wheeler was designated to make room for Hernandez on the 40-man roster, and right-handed reliever Rob Scahill, the winning pitcher on Wednesday, was optioned to Colorado Springs to make room on the 25-man roster.

Called up twice during periods of injury at first and third base, Wheeler, 26, batted .232 with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 31 games (56 at-bats). The move means the Rockies have 10 days to trade, release or outright Wheeler if he's not claimed by another club during the waiver period.

The decision to designate Wheeler occurred hours before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but according to the club, it had more to do with clearing a spot for Hernandez than any pending deal.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.