DENVER, CO - APRIL 13: Chris Nelson #10, Marco Scutaro #19, Todd Helton #17 and the Colorado Rockies celebrate their 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field on April 13, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
This news comes as a complete surprise. Rutledge has been having a very nice season down in AA Tulsa after an outstanding 2011 with the A+ Modesto Nuts (.348/.414/.517), batting .306/.338/.508 while playing SS.
The reason this potential move is a surprise is that over the past 30 days, Marco Scutaro and Chris Nelson have both been batting at a league-average mark at the least, and Jonathan Herrera has been solid with the glove, the only thing keeping him above replacement-level. The need for production at the 2B/SS position hasn't been as dire.
That all said, there have been trade rumors surrounding some of Colorado's veterans, namely Marco Scutaro. While Scoots enjoys playing in Denver, the price of running a losing team near the deadline is that every veteran player on a short-term contract should be considered as available.
Rutledge does play into the Rockies' long-term plans, given his ability to hit for average and play excellent middle-infield defense. His arm may not be strong enough to stick at SS, but he would complement Troy Tulowitzki well up the middle when Tulo returns from the disabled list, potentially in August.
Renck also mentioned the potential for a Tyler Chatwood demotion, given his struggles as a long reliever in the Rockies current pitching layout. The Rockies still do have pitching depth in AAA Colorado Springs without supplanting Alex White and Edwar Cabrera in the form of guys like Mike Ekstrom.
*** UPDATE ***
Eckstrom joins pen. Hearing Chatwood will go to AA to start is what I am hearing. Will update as it develops— Troy Renck, Rockies (@TroyRenck) July 13, 2012
All signs pointing toward Rutledge being activated. Not sure what corresponding move is but would appear to be Herrera— Troy Renck, Rockies (@TroyRenck) July 13, 2012
*** MORE UPDATES ***
Well, looks like Todd Helton's hitting the DL.
Appears move for Rutledge is DL for Helton.He's not on roster— Troy Renck, Rockies (@TroyRenck) July 13, 2012