Rafael Ynoa and Brian Schlitter have been optioned to minor league camp, the Rockies announced today. Given that Daniel Descalso will start the season on the disabled list, Ynoa's assignment is a strong indication that Trevor Story will break camp with the Rockies.
Rockies fans are split on whether or not Trevor Story should break camp with the team. When Matt Gross polled Purple Row's readers on this issue a couple of weeks ago, the vote was an exact 50/50 split. A full 520 people indicated that they think Story should break camp with the club, while another 520 stated that they think he should start the season in Triple-A Albuquerque.
The split revolves around what could happen in 2022 more than it does 2016. Those who want Story to break camp with the club probably do so because they believe he's earned a spot. Not only that, but the Rockies need someone to play shortstop when the season opens. Descalso, as noted, is out, and José Reyes will be in court that day. The Rockies could fill the position, but whoever they choose would be decidedly less exciting than Story. To be sure, excitement plays a role here too. There's nothing wrong with that. I would much rather see Story play shortstop than Ynoa. Having Story on the roster from day one is going to make the first couple weeks of the season a hell of a lot more interesting and entertaining.
For those who want to see Story begin the season in Triple-A, the phrase "first couple weeks of the season" is the focus. If the Rockies choose to option Story to Triple-A Albuquerque and call him up near the end of April, they will squeeze another year of control out of him. He'd be a free agent after the 2022 season instead of after the 2021 season. I can see this side of the argument. It's a small thing to do to keep a player in Triple-A for a perfunctory two weeks in order to gain six extra months of play at a later date. It's the conservative play.
It's also nothing to get too worked up about. And it is most definitely not an indictment of the Rockies' front office. They are doing what they feel is right at the moment while accounting for the future, and I defy readers to say that it does not feel right to include Trevor Story in the Opening Day lineup.