On Wednesday, the Colorado Rockies announced 19 non-roster invitees who will be invited to Major League spring training. They include a number of minor-league signings and prospects who are not a part of the 40-man roster.
This year’s group includes:
- Left-handed pitchers (3): Ben Bowden, Evan Grills, Sam Howard
- Right-handed pitchers (4): Rico Garcia, Chi Chi González, Peter Lambert, Matt Pierpont
- Catchers (4): Brett Nicholas, Dom Núñez, Chris Rabago, Brian Serven
- Infielders (7): Bret Boswell, Peter Mooney, Brian Mundell, Tyler Nevin, Mark Reynolds, Brendan Rodgers, Colton Welker
- Outfielder (1): Michael Saunders
Several of the NRI’s are top prospects in the Rockies’ farm system and recently appeared on Purple Row’s latest PuRPs rankings. They are Rodgers (No. 1), Lambert (No. 2), Welker (No. 3), Nevin (No. 7), Bowden (No. 17), Garcia (No. 20), Howard (No. 24), Boswell (No. 28), Mundell (No. 29), Núñez (No. 30), Pierpont (No. 39) and Serven (No. 49).
In order for the NRI’s to make the MLB team out of spring training, a corresponding move(s) would have to be made. However, there are some names on the list who have a better chance of making the team than others.
Reynolds, the Rockies’ regular first baseman from 2016-2017 is penciled in as a member of the Rockies’ bench in 2019 by RosterResource.
Rodgers, the consensus top prospect in the organization, has an outside chance of earning the second base job, but it would likely require an exceptional spring performance for him to supplant Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson, who appear most likely in line for duties at the keystone.
Howard appeared in the Majors for the Rockies in 2018 as a bullpen arm before being designated for assignment and subsequently re-signing this winter. Howard’s chances of making the Opening Day roster are slim, but General Manager Jeff Bridich and Manager Bud Black are sure to take his Major League experience into account.
With one week to go before pitchers and catchers report to big league camp, here is the Rockies’ official announcement of this spring’s NRI’s: