We started discussing this in a thread last evening, but the Rockies have made their moves to protect players from the Rule 5 draft coming up in December. Players added to the roster include RHP's Shane Lindsay, Ryan Mattheus and Samuel Deduno, as well as infielders Chris Nelson, Hector Gomez and Eric Young Jr. (who can also be used in the OF). The Rockies had space on their roster for all but one of these six, which necessitated outrighting catcher Edwin Bellorin to Colorado Springs to open the final spot.
I had speculated in August that Bellorin's stock had fallen when the team chose to call up Adam Melhuse instead of him to back-up Chris Iannetta after Yorvit Torrealba got injured. Yesterday's move was the confirmation that I was right. With Michael McKenry ascending the depth chart rapidly, it seems that Bellorin, Rick Guarno and Neil Wilson are having to get out of the way.
As for the six who were protected, there really weren't any surprises given strong fall performances from at least four of them (with the exceptions of Deduno and Gomez), and solid MLB level tools for all six.
Have the Rockies left any critical players exposed to the Rule 5? The team has excelled at identifying who is really of interest to teams around the league, safely letting EY2 and Lindsay go exposed last year at this time without seeing them drafted. This season, there are three players, right-hander Aneury Rodriguez, left-hander Xavier Cedeno (update, these two are ineligible, see comments), and infielder Daniel Mayora, that I could see as possibly desirable, and none of them are of the caliber or have the advanced skills of the six we did protect, so I think the Rockies will probably be safe with that trio. Right-hander Andrew Johnston might be an interesting wildcard, however. He's got some hallmarks of a typical Rule 5 pick (bullpen friendly, one MLB caliber pitch) that could entice a team, much like Steven Register did last season with the Mets. Similarly to Register, I wouldn't be surprised to see Johnston drafted, let's hope it's to another contender that can't afford to keep him all year.